Cohabitation in Britain – a Legal and Political Jihad Against Men

By Robert Whiston FRSA   Oct 2006

This article was written in response to the Law Commission’s

Cohabitation: the Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown” detailed in the DCA‘s ‘Consultation Paper No 179’ and issued in May 2006. (http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/cp179_overview.pdf).

Cohabitation: the State-Sponsored Slither into Slothfulness

A submission challenging the Consultation Paper’s views was made

on behalf of Men’s Aid in July 2006

Preamble

Discussion of the present Consultation Paper (‘Cohabitation: the Financial Consequences of Relation-ship Breakdown’, 2006) can only begin to make sense when one has an understanding of previous Law Commission initiatives. This has occurred over the last 30 years and has been accompanied, if not supplemented by, governmental ‘liberal’ proposal, changes of emphasis in matrimonial law and ill- conceived legislative flights of fancy.

In recent years, it has become politically unacceptable to privilege marriage and to treat the institution as anything other than one of several equally acceptable lifestyle choices (see Prof Robert Rowthorn, 2001 and Appendices).

The political atmosphere has perhaps informed the media’s unfriendly attitude to what should be an open and freely debated topic.

For some reason, either from sheer ignorance or a tyrannical form of ‘liberalism’ – one that exudes intolerance towards anything that does not conform to its view of acceptability – has gripped the elite within our society.

The collapse of marriage is fundamentally among people who are of lower social class . . .. . .If you look at the USA for example, who were the group of women who were most likely to be married in their thirties and were least likely to divorce? Women with degrees.” –Prof Rowthorn.BBC TV, July 2000.

Whitehall’s fiscal policy has long ceased to distinguish married couples from unmarried couples who live together as if married. Critically, the ONS no longer makes any distinction in its statistics.

While it is true today that more couples choose to cohabit prior to marriage it is still less common as an alternative to marriage. Many couples move from cohabiting into marriage. Why then does government and the Law Commission want to threaten this natural procession borne out of our freedom to choose ?

Under one of the proposals we will in the future have to ‘register’ our decision to cohabit; perhaps pay for a permit, or be granted a ‘lechery licence’. Surely this would be the next logical step. The question then is will this apply to all of us, or only to serial monogamists’ and multiple polygamists ? We need to stop and ask who is ‘messing’ with our civil liberties, our basic human rights and freedoms.

Ideally, government policy should be expected to reflect this new social norm (i.e. transient cohabiting) but it does not. It reflects only the growing crude numbers of cohabiting couples and forgets the crucial caveat that the majority endure for less than two years and that there are still, numerically, more couples who are married. [1]

If reducing the importance of marriage to simply an alternative form of cohabitation has subsequently led to a higher turnover of partners, then reducing cohabitation to something regulated and institutionalised by the state will lead to similar changes. Statistics for second and third time marriages show they are far more likely to break up, and more quickly, than first-time marriages. It is not a great leap of intellect to suppose that this pattern will be replicated in the turnover of cohabitees if such actions are remunerated by the state each time

The Law Commission seems not to have extrapolated this possibility to cohabiting couples and more especially its impact on children of those families.

Teenage Wastelands

British and overseas studies continue to suggest that married families consistently do better than unmarried families on important “outcome” measures (e.g. the MCS; Carlson, 2006; Manning & Brown, 2006).

“The traditional nuclear family of mother, father and children that we see in this country and in many western countries is actually at the root of our democracy, of our democratic values. It creates strong, inner directed, self-confident, emotionally stable, socially-constructive human beings who have a sense of what it is to live in the world of duties and responsibilities to each other.” – Melanie Phillips “. July 2000. BBC TV.

However, funding for more UK studies that accept the premise that cohabiting might not be significantly increasing or is a natural evolution into marriage ‘in a post industrial era’, are becoming harder to find.

Discussion of the present Consultation Paper only begins to make sense when the track record of the Law Commission is examined. We are told in the 2006 paper that an almost casual comment from a debate in the Lord prompted the paper being written, namely that;

“During the passage of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 through Parliament, members of the House of Lords questioned the lack of legal remedies for couples who live together but either do not marry or (in the case of same-sex couples) register a new civil partnership.”[2]

This is not entirely true and on the face of it some might think it disingenuous or a bald faced lie. The fact is two years earlier in 2002 ‘Sharing Homes’, A Discussion Paper, was published [3] (one of many such papers) which focused – as had the previous ones dating back to 1995 – on how to share property between cohabiting couples belonging to one party after separation, i.e. disarticulate owner from house and home. In plain words, they were devising ways, i.e. targeting, how to share out other peoples’ property and houses.

Both the 2002 paper (on page 3), and the 2006 project are centred on the belief that “home as property” is the key to all other events. It is “the home” – and who should use it – that trumps all other claims. Anything to do with ownership and paying the purchase price (and rights accruing therefrom) are deemed irrelevant.

This then is not so much about granting or ‘enhancing’ cohabiting rights but more about redistributing property – preferably other peoples’ property, owned and paid for by someone else.

The Law Commission does not seem to comprehend that property and accruing rights for the purchaser is the raison d’etre for the success of western liberal democracy and why we have evolved ahead of others. It explains why we are not on a par with sub-Saharan Africa where, the UN reminds us, polygamy is widespread; 60% of women change partners (the disruption rate); and where 1/3 of her fertile years are likely spent with another man who is not the father of her children. [4]

Do we want that social chaos for Britain ? Sub-Saharan Africa does not have the complications of a ‘welfare state’ nor the wealth to support one. It does not have the state apparatus to apply rules, enforce laws, collect taxes, raise living standards, monitor inheritance and pay out benefits on a ‘needs’ basis. In Sub-Saharan Africa changing partners does not impact on the taxpayer or general community, only on the participants.

Meddling with the natural evolution of a culture means that today, despite a huge increases in the population, there are actually fewer Black Americans who are married than there were in 1900.

But it us more then just this; it is about an ideology as much as it is about the better regulating of the lower orders by the middle and upper orders; it is about allegedly sharing out fairly the property and the home of a couple, i.e. usually the man’s, premised on a middle class idea of wealth and work – a concept that does not fully grasp that the hourly charge out rate in the legal profession is equivalent to the weekly take home pay of many millions of working class men and fathers.

The Law Commission conveys the quaint belief that women still do not go out to work in large numbers and therefore need to profit financially from any separation.

If anything, women are now close to 50% of the total workforce in Britain.

Indeed, as is evidenced from Working Family Tax Credits (WFTC) data, it is often the case that £250 – £300 per week is the combined weekly income of both working parents and its purchasing power needs to be topped up by government.

Over these derisory amounts – and the property such sums can command – the Law Commission now wants to divide up but in favour of only one party – the female. [5]

Single motherhood, i.e. never-wed mothers, is encouraged by the states WFTC with £1,700 in Child Benefit and £175 p.w. Childcare Element paid to both lone parent and married couple family units – but only to mothers. [6]

Does the Law Commission intend that this ‘wealth stream’ (i.e. from the earners of £13,000 to £23,000 pa), should be claimed and paid only to females; that it should be used to off-set any settlement of property. If so, isn’t the Law Commission thereby recognising that without the earning power of the father in the first place, no cohabiting with children would have been possible ? [7]So why penalise him ?

Thereafter, where would the separated couple live ? If the average house price is around £160,000 the weekly rent is always a function of current house prices. Housing demand would be doubled from the need for one unit of accommodation into two units.

Only in the instance of same-sex couples will each party ever hope to have a fair apportionment at separation – so long as both are treated as females.

The New Orchestrated Orthodoxy

For the Law Commission not only is a 40 year old ideology at stake but so too are reputations that have been 40 years in the making.

The evolution of progressively uncoupling society from the notion of marriage has a long pedigree that can be traced to the 1920s of John B. Watson, an American psychologist, who predicted:

“In fifty years, unless there is some change, the tribal custom of marriage will no longer exist.”

In the 1930s, Gramsci, an Italian Marxist conceived that to institute a new culture in a society it is first necessary to destroy the old culture by infiltrating its institutions. For this to succeed, age-old doctrines and moral teachings, education and ‘the family’ must all be reduced to irrelevances and discarded wholesale.

We can only speculate just how significant is ‘reputation’ and the loss of face, for England’s Law Commissioners. They know that in one or two other English speaking countries some progress has been made towards ‘enfranchising’ non-married partners, i.e. non-spouses and non-owners, to benefit from the legalised confiscation of property by the courts (circa 1975 – 85). In other circumstances and in another century this was called ‘carpet-bagging’.

However, the Law Commissioners must also be aware that those countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ‘new’ countries with newly arrived and diverse peoples that lack a common heritage. They do not have a shared 1,000 year tradition of property law and a birthright stretching back more than two millennia.

The Law Commissioners must also know, but perhaps does not like to say, that the most progressive forms are found in the less populated nations, e.g. New Zealand (Pop’n 4.4m). Other nations with similar laws on inheritance by cohabitees, e.g. Sweden, Denmark, also have comparatively small populations.

If we focus simply on New Zealand we see that by all sound measures it is in steep decline with regards social pathologies. [8] Dr. Patricia Morgan’s 200 page book “Family Matters: Family Breakdown and its Consequences”, analyses the events that have led to New Zealand’s decline and continued tail spin. It is “the poor”, the Maoris, the children and the unmarried that are suffering most from the social reforms. In New Zealand rewarding female cohabitees who spilt-up from their male partner is having no visibly beneficial effects.

It is therefore little wonder that the Law Commission feels driven to admit at one stage, despite its 30 years campaign and reports in its favour, that:

“We have concluded that it is not possible to devise a statutory scheme for the determination of shares in the shared home which can operate fairly and evenly across all the diverse circumstances which are now to be encountered.”[9]

Those 2002 sentiments were short lived. A week is along time in politics, so it should come as no surprise that a few years later the Law Commission should allegedly be asked (see p ii) to make fresh proposals. [10]

It communicates to the student that there must be ‘an agenda’ operating behind the scenes.

It is interesting to note the emerging patterns of reform proposals not because of their apparent novelty or diversity but rather the very opposite, i.e. because of their overwhelming uniformity and synchronisation. Forty years ago it was no-fault divorce that convulsed the imagination of every English speaking nation.

Why ?

Now it is cohabitation. The years since 2000 have seen the various national Law Commissions become seized with the idea of making cohabitation workable and on a par with marriage. Again, why ?

Instances of other global orchestrations include the CSA, same sex unions, no smoking and drink-driving bans, how to divide up matrimonial property and pushing unwed mothers put to work.

Launching any new idea is never an easy task but the extra-ordinary idea of gifting someone else’s

property to a cohabitee must have daunted even those politicians who have seen lesser Bills stumble at less insurmountable obstacles.

In the case of legalised and state regulated cohabitation, the topic of this paper, who or what is the engine that keeps raising these questions enough times, and in enough of the right places, and with enough vigour and enthusiasm to get legislation moving down the slipway ?

Who is it who greases the surfaces to move the dead weight of an idea out of dry dock and onto the slipway ready for launching ?

The shared property idea was floated and promptly knocked on the head as a hare brained scheme in the 1970s. In the 1990s it was briefly resurrected but then promptly abandoned.

The public’s moral compass, battered and weakened by the media and Stonewall’s persistent allegations of its ‘homophobia’, looks now as if it might not be in a position to offer up resistance to shared property for cohabitees (the result is, of course, the unintended reciprocal, creating a climate of hetero-phobia).

A government can be likened to a computer – a mechanism with no brains and no policies of its own. To function it depends on using the input of others (software) and hope it is free of viruses.

One is forced to conclude that operating either within, or on the peripheries of, or both, is a cabal that wants to see their own pet agendas achieved acting either as a software programme or a virus.

For instance, two Bills proposing same-sex union legislation have been debated in Parliament over recent years. On October 24th 2001, Jane Griffiths MP introduced the ‘Relationships (Civil Registration) Bill’ into the House of Commons under the Ten Minute Rule. [11]

In January 2002, Lord Lester of Herne Hill introduced the Civil Partnerships Bill into the House of Lords. It was more detailed than Jane Griffiths’ and was the subject of extensive debate at Second Reading. Lord Lester withdrew his Bill a month later (6th February 2002) following further Government assurances that a cross-departmental review of civil partnerships was underway.

Both Jane Griffiths MP and Lord Lester of Herne Hill have reasons and interests in promoting same sex legislation.

The subsequent review was co-ordinated by the Civil Partnerships and Sexual Orientation Team at the Women and Equality Unit of the Cabinet Office. A third attempt was made in 2004 resulting in the Law Commission’s 2006 paper.

Throughout all these forays, and conveniently to hand, were pre-existing papers on this very topic stretching back more than a decade. The Law Commission’s paper of 2002, for instance, draws our attention, at para 5.39 (page 82), to same-sex partners being empowered to make a binding and express “property agreement” to be evidenced in the register regarding the future allocation of their property – something heterosexuals are denied by matrimonial law.

In the view of many that power should be as far as matters should have been taken.

·We will show how the Law Commission is so ‘forward-thinking’ that it has modernised this country back into the confusion of the 18th century.

·We will show how the curse of ‘irregular marriages’ once thought consigned to a dusty corner of history’s, might be resurrected and the societal agony they caused relived by another generation of women.

·We will explore that where cohabitation is terminated by death that the survivor may well have to petition the court, meet all the criteria, and battle another cohabitee in the same way that was all too common in the 16th to18th centuries.

·But what we will not see in this reckless back-to-the-future adventure by the Law Commission is a relapse into the offence of ‘criminal conversations’, for that implies a degree of maturity, a level of morality and an acknowledgement of personal responsibility that present day legislators prefer to deny us.

Where death does not cause the termination of cohabitation the former cohabitant (presumably the female), the Law Commission believes, she should be able to apply to the court for financial provision on the basis of economic disadvantage suffered by the party and of any child of the family.[12]

For this pleading to have merit the Law Commission must tacitly be admitting that cohabiting with a man provides an enriched standard of living that would not otherwise be available. Doing the government’s stated intent of lifting women and children out of poverty therefore brings a penalty for men.

Authoritarian Liberalism

Cohabitation is but a distraction from the main event which is still marriage; and we tend to forget that the ONS finds that most women want to marry and 90% of divorced women have divorced only once in their life. This no doubt related to the high-value commitment placed upon it. Contrast that with the lack of a high-value commitment by cohabitees of whom one could almost say 90% change two years.

“The married family structure is the one structure that delivers commitment. This is about permanence. It is a solemn promise about permanence, given in good faith, which should only be broken in extreme circumstances…. This idea that there really was a golden age of the family really is a straw man that must be shot down. Equally absurd is the idea that the married family is uniquely responsible for subservience and brow-beaten individuals. This is not just a caricature; it bears absolutely no relation to the sort of families that we’ve seen through the centuries.” – Melanie Phillips: ‘Soul of the Nation’. BBC, July 2000.

The probability that a married woman will became divorced before 40 years of age is 50% (in 1993 it was 41%). Cohabitations often last less than 2 years.

The probability that a women will be widowed trebles after she reaches 50 years of age. At that age she can look forward to 30 years of pension payments.

At 50, 60 or 70 years old her cohabiting days are over. Who then does the Commission have in mind to maintain her standard of living, care for her and meet her running costs ?

We have no objection to ‘tinkering’ or the principal of ‘persistent tinkering’ if ‘tinkering’ could be shown to be successful, but the Law Commission’s ‘tinkering’ has not been successful, in fact, it has been spectacularly and persistently ruinous.

The Law Commission is, in essence, at odds with society and at war with nature – and that is one war it cannot hope to win.

Older and wiser Commissioners have now been touched by their own errors and failures e.g. Deech and Hoggett, and their extended families too are now falling apart.

The world has experienced one Weimar collapse and subsequent holocaust in the 20th century – does the Law Commission want to be known for repeating both in the 21st century ?

Professor Rowthorn identifies the technique that is absolutely typical in debates and policy papers when reforms are afoot. [13]

For instance, in regards step-families, the technique is to show superior examples that at their best they can be as successful as intact married couples.

Again, with lone-parenthood only prime examples are cited as if they are typical; and again all that can be said is that at ‘its best’ it can be just as good as married couples.

However, as Professor Rowthorn reminds us, social policy has to be made on the basis of averages; not on the basis of fictitious claims nor on the basis of a successful but exclusive minority of a subsection.

Our conclusion is that this battle can be won by the Law Commission in the short-term, but if things do not work out as planned will the Commissioners fall on their swords or unload their dishonour onto the next generation of Commissioners ?

Robert Whiston

On behalf of Men’s Aid

Milton Keynes, UK

1. A Legal and Political Jihad

In returning to the topic of legitimising cohabitation the Law Commission is attempting to complete what for them is ‘unfinished business’.

The Law Commissioners are once again trying to launch another frontal assault on a target which, over the last 30 years, they have failed to overwhelm. [14]

In the absence of any public clamour for change this behaviour, if not obsessive, is certainly taking on the air of a hobby horse. For some reason yet to be revealed, marriage is viewed as an ideological irritant.

The only success the Law Commission has savoured in a 30-year-long campaign is the incremental erosion of marriage as the pre-eminent vehicle of choice into which children are born. That questionable success has come at the incalculable damage wrought on ‘the Underclass’ of society. [15]

The Law Commission fails to face up to the inevitable fact that the consequences of their proposals substantially reduce people’s sense of liberty and their freedom of choice.

To give mature adults the choice between a). marriage and b). cohabitation but with the same penalties on separation as marriage, is no choice at all.

If, for various reasons some heterosexual couples wish not to marry they have (at present) the options of cohabiting or recording their commitment more formally at a Registry Office. These are the same options offered to same-sex couples since legislation has legalised their ‘unions’ at Registry Offices.

Is the Law Commission proposing that homosexual and lesbian couples should loose their right to cohabit and be given only the option of registering their union ? No, they are not. But apparently this is precisely what the Law Commission intends for heterosexual couples.

Choices are being expanded, it would appear, for homosexuals but closed for heterosexuals.

Heterosexuals may have a choice but it is a choice in name only.

Worse is to follow. The astuteness of the Law Commission will effectively be taking advantage of inexperienced young adults who are not mature enough or cognisant of the price they will be forced to pay when they freely enter a period of cohabitation which they may view as a ‘trial marriage.

These young men, and it will be only men, stand to be ‘fleeced twice (at a minimum), once’ when they innocently enter into cohabitation and secondly, later in life, they will be are fleeced as they pass through the divorce courts.

The argument that they can avoid such a fate if they don’t marry if made obsolete by the new proposals. They will be fleeced as if they were married and there is every possibility that with the frequency and transience of cohabitation they could well lose all their accumulated assets 6 or 7 times in their lifetime. This is a wholly destructive prospect for society to consider. The collateral damage will be enormous.

Society at large and politicians in particular are at last waking up to the long term costs of these failed policies. The consequences for the state are simple. Subsidies to Single Mother Households (SMH), and by implication cohabitation, cost the British nation over £13 billion pound every year (at 1996 prices). [16]

Theoretically the Law Commission should be diametrically opposed to Talibanisation. Instead it is endorsing the same sort policies that jihadists would inflict under of the rigidity of a Kaliph.

Having time and again been thwarted in their ambition to sweep away marriage, the Law Commission remains unrepentant. They appear to be unaware that the breakdown in cohabitation shows a strong ethnic prevalence which will be explored in a separate chapter.

Had the Family Law Act 1996 not proven unworkable we can only guess at what life would be like under its proposed tyranny – replete with its quagmire of‘property adjustments’ (i.e. transfers through legalised confiscation) to a new class of people, the ‘associated person’.

2. The ‘Home Sharer’ Proposition

Society can thank the Law Commissioners for much of our present day divorce laws and the shambolic disarray that everyone concedes they represent.

As part of that disarray the last 30 years has seen a huge transfer of real estate and permanent wealth from people who earned it to people who cannot sustain it (from men and fathers to women and wives respectively). This has huge implications outside the personal, social and the legal which we do not have time to go into at this juncture.

The cause of the problem is simply the court’s attempt, when divorcing, to stretch one man’s income (which may be very limited) across the competing demands of two households.

This is such a ‘no-brainer’ and has always been recognised as such that poet Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745) believed that divorce should be ‘consigned to the relatively wealthy’ and that ‘it would be disastrous for ‘the poor’. As asatirist, essayist, and a political pamphleteer he could see the misery endured by his contemporary John Milton. His divorce tracts were written by a man who, Swift observed, had married to a shrew. [17]

For many, ‘Home Sharer’might appear to be a new term but it has pedigree dating aback to 1995

when the Law Commission first unveiled their ‘Home Sharers’ proposals copied from legislative ideas from the Antipodes. [18]

In their 2006 paper they remain committed to pressing ahead with proposals to give cohabiting couples the same ‘rights’ as their married counterparts (for that is how it is seen). This can only mean that in the mind of the Law Commission and or the judiciary being married and cohabiting are one and the same thing. It must therefore come as a blow for them to realise this is not how the public wishes to see both ‘marital’ options.

The proposed rights on separation include never allowing men to benefit; meaning in contested cases only women can win-out. In uncontested cases that the right to transfer the overwhelming majority of the couples’ money and assets will always be towards the woman – never the man [Ref. Para 1.27 and 2.65 of their 2006 proposals].

If the law is sometimes best described as an ass, then ‘Equality before the law’, is a very sick donkey, indeed.

All ten of the examples in their 2006 paper itemising possible scenarios of relationship breakdown favour, ( inadvertently we would like to think ?), the female – regardless of whether there are children of the couple or not (and why should he pay anything if they are not his children ?).

In this gender neutral world there is one example cited (‘Example 5’ at Para 4.44 & 4.45) where the male should ‘win out’, i.e. qualify for compensation, but the Law Commission slams the door shut on that scenario. This serves only to demonstrate a degree of sexism that should have been extinguished 30 years ago.

At this point the definition of equality as exemplified in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is instructive (see also Annex A).

“Policies that appear to be “neutral” can lead to discrimination if, in their application, they have a disproportionate impact or adverse effect on women”.

What lateral thinking allows preferential treatment in “policies and programs to treat different individuals and groups in different ways” to be shrugged off as if achieving equality ?

The Law Commission’s frame of mind can only indicate obstinacy at work or a totalitarian disregard for an individual’s property and liberal rights. It is the ‘authoritarian liberalism’ described by Melanie Phillips and which feels no compunction in neutralising ancient rights and forfeiting freedoms.

It is a style that encourages a Soviet style regime of property and wealth confiscation that presently only operates against couples foolish enough to get married.

Family stability, and its converse, family breakdown, is a simple but compelling measure with which to investigate different outcomes between married and unmarried couples with young children.

Whenever ‘outcomes’ are compared children of married couples are superior on all scales to children of unmarried couples. [19]

3. Property

What is most dishonest about this proposal – and there are several instances – is the disingenuous and knowingly wilful use of gender neutral wording. The authors know full well that, if accepted, the implementation of the proposals will see the new law applied rigorously against one sex (men) and always in favour of the opposite sex (women). What is proposed is nothing short of carpet bagging.

When a divorce case does not follow the conveyor belt ‘norm’ it makes the headlines. This happened to Heather Martin-Dye, aged 54. When she divorced her second husband, Mr Martin-Dye, a former British Airways pilot, the court, quite bizarrely, ordered that £3.6 million to be paid to her ex-husband. [20] Details of this extra-ordinary and very atypical case can be found at Appendix A.

An example of a reactionary ruling, again by the somewhat-out-of-touch Mr Justice Thorpe is that of custody denied the ‘house husband’ Even though he had given up his job and career to look after the couples’ children Thorpe ruled in favour of his working wife who said she intended to give up work so she could look after the children.

That she was awarded the house and ancillary assets is a common place feature; that it should come so soon after promising ‘noises’ about equality and the ‘faltering system’ by both Thorpe and Butler Sloss was disquieting [21] (see Appendix B).

Traditionally, owning property has brought with it a degree of power and influence, not least the ability to borrow, to use it as leverage and thus accumulate more wealth. We have all bought-in to this concept. But one could be forgiven for believing that currently both the advantages of ownership and that of creating more wealth are under threat. A slow transition in the ownership of property and homes has been underway and when a critical mass of transfers has been achieved it may only be by the repeal of legislation that owning property becomes worthwhile once again. [22]

It is crucial for fathers to realise that children, not a dazzling career or the invention of a world-beating patented device, are the key and the passport to future health and happiness (and wealth). Owning any property, but particularly a house, is a hazardous occupation. Equally, it presently serves no purpose for a man to build up emotional ties with his children as it can almost be guaranteed that one day, somewhere in the future, they will be snatched away from him. [23]Whoever is awarded the children by the court will be given the house and all other assets. It’s as crude as that. For men ‘women and marriage’ have in the present climate become two unwanted economic hand grenades.

Cohabitation has always been the escape route from total financial annihilation. If the Commission gets its way, no longer will only married and divorced women be perceived as potential and actual predatory animals but all women in general will fit the economic hand grenade epitaph.

Extending the property annihilation caveats to cohabiting men serves only to widen the impact and increases the fallout of such explosives power. If this comes about we should expect only that men’s health will decline and their suicides increase.

The trend in parenting awards since the Children Act 1989 (which became effective in 1991) has shown that far from fathers being treated equally or having a fair chance at playing the important active parenting role they deserve, they have been sidelined.

In an ideal world state confiscation of property is intolerable but routine confiscation might be met with less hostility if a quid pro quo for more post separation access and custody was offered as an off-set. But since this does not happen for married fathers it is most unlikely to happen for unmarried, i.e. cohabiting fathers.

In the 5 years leading up to 1991 the opposite was true, as the table below (see Fig 1) demonstrates. There was an increasing momentum towards joint custody, something we now call ‘shared parenting’, a dynamic that the Children Act 1989 should have enhanced. The trend varied regionally with the highest rate of awards in the south and south east with where 25% of custody awards were joint or ‘shared’ (the Law Commission’s own working papers point this out in ‘Supplements – Working Paper No. 96’, published 20 years ago in 1986).

Fig 1. Child custody after divorce (England and Wales)

Custody

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

To mother

63,150

61,506

60,988

59,577

63,736

59,066

To father

7,249

6,876

6,440

6,370

6,514

6,525

Jointly

13,009

13,223

13,771

14,766

18,468

22,897

Others

603

749

882

1,000

Total

84,011

82,354

82,081

81,713

88,718

88,488

% to mother

75.2%

74.7%

74.3%

72.9%

71.8%

66.8%

% to father

8.6%

8.3%

7.8%

7.8%

7.3%

7.4%

% jointly

15.5%

16.1%

16.8%

18.1%

20.8%

25.9%

Source: Judicial Statistics, courtesy of SPIG http://www.spig.clara.net/stat2/custody.htm

Fig 1 illustrates a time when custody awards were increasing from 84,000 to 88,000 and where joint custody (aka shared parenting) was gaining ground (up from 13,000 to 23,000), at the expense of mother-only custody (63,000 down to 59,000).

Since 1991 the mother-only custody trend has been reversed and ‘shared parenting’ or joint awards have all but been eliminated in the family division. The rare awards to fathers are usually premised on the incompetence or ‘unfit’ status induced by drug and/or alcohol addiction of the mother.

After 1991 the selection of custody arrangements was amended to ‘residence’ which could either be joint or sole (in the case of the latter contact visit status was offered to the father). ‘Joint residence’ has been made impossible by Child Benefits payments which government says they are unable to divide between two parents (re: Sprawson report).

The Sprawson Report identified “the Department for Work’ and Pensions s computer system”, which was first installed in 1975, as lacking “the sophistication and flexibility of more modern systems and cannot accommodate complexities [and]… is unable to process … the consequence of allowing for split entitlement” for all parents. [24]

The change has meant that directly comparable statistics are not available. Any comparisons, therefore, have to be made in an indirect way.

For example, the proportion of lone parents, by sex, who head-up households (see Fig 2), implies that since 1971 SMH increased by 1990 to 92%. And whereas in the pre-1991 era custody to fathers (SFH) was falling only gradually (7,249 to 6,526) in Fig 1, Fig 2 shows a collapse from around 12% to 7%.

Fig 2. Proportion of fathers and mothers who are head of

lone parent households

1971-73

1979-81

1990-92

Mothers

86.0%

87.2%

92.2%

Fathers

13.7%

12.8%

7.8%

Source: ONS. Population Trends

Subsequent data from Population Trends indicates that father custody is today (2004- 06) down to less than 5%. A comprehensive analysis of the actual numbers of Lone Parents by marital status is shown below in Fig 3 (note how in 1971 the numbers lone fathers was almost the same as for lone mothers).

Fig 3. Lone Parents – Actual numbers (‘000)

Source: ONS. Population Trends

In an effort to lessen the impact of statistics produced by fathers groups and claims of bias, the DfES asked the ONS (Office for National Statistics) to estimate how many parents were going to court to seek contact orders. Claims by fathers groups of system failure, system overload, and of endemic bias against fathers has always been dismissed by Whitehall.

The ONS published its results, “Non-Residential Parental Contact with Children” in March 2004. The report was based on a “representative sample” of 935 adults – 649 were resident parents and 312 were non-resident parents, and 26 respondents were both (so are counted in both categories). Joan Hunt in common with other researchers subsequently quoted the ONS numbers in her learned papers:

“Only a small minority of parents use the law to sort out contact arrangements. A survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that around 1 in 10 parents had court orders”.

If there were 61,356 Contact orders in 2004 (see Annex B, Table 1), then the number of parents separating each year should have been, if the 1 in 10 is accurate, in the region of 610,000 divorces and separations. Fig 4 shows that at no time has divorce reached that level. Instead it has ‘plateau-ed’

Fig 4. Number of Divorces 1961 – 2003 (GB and UK ) (includes annulments)

Divorces (Includes annulments. Data for 1961 to 1970 are GB only.)

Arrow – see Chp 19 below

Source : ONShttp://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=170

at about 160,000divorces per annum and of theses only 120,000 (on average) have involved children. The figures listed in Hansard also do not appear to add up when measured by the number of Residence orders granted at 30,006 (see Annex B, Table 1).

Clearly the ONS estimate of 1 in 10 (or 10%) stated in their report is wrong.

An increasing number of scholars and researchers are coming to the conclusion that official British data cannot relied upon to be dependable or accurate and that it is too often tainted and biased. (See Appendices F & F1).

Criticism is occasionally heard that fathers groups are too quick to link payments and compensation with seeing their children. This mischievous allegation is quickly refuted by posing a series of reciprocal or reverse tests for mothers.

In life, there are a certain number of ‘inevitabilities’, for instance, there is the inevitability of growing-up and maturing, which is followed by the inevitability desire to marry and have children etc. Divorce can only follow marriage, but cohabitation can either precede, or follow marriage, or even punctuate it.

In the past the transfers of wealth followed only upon marriage and death. In the recent past these vehicles have been joined by two more vehicles, 1). via divorce and 2). via the allocation of children, i.e. custody.

Shared parenting obviously threatens this trend in asset assignment. The Law Commission is undeniably obsessed with securing the financial security of the women. The way in which it always puts women’s interests ahead of protecting the interests of children, appears, if not old fashioned then slightly Marxist, and the way in which it has unfailingly tried to smash the property owners’ rights is consistent with an anarchistic view of society, re: “Property is theft”.[25]

Those who experienced the Soviets reallocation of wealth cannot help but see the Law Commission as a reincarnation. Both before the Cold War, in Poland in 1939 and in eastern satellites after 1946, property of the middle class were confiscated.

In every town middle class families were forcibly ejected from their houses, flats and shops by Soviet troops and the penniless, landless and uneducated installed in their place.

Property Transfers Values

The frequency and value of property transfers increased through the 1990s – not to mention the ease. Women, who at one time could only gain from being ‘gifted’ property by the state after a divorce, can, with the Law Commission’s proposal, equally profit without doing this or incurring the expense of a wedding ceremony.

In the early to mid 1990s, women aged 25-54 were most likely to live in ‘owner occupier’ houses with 78% of married or widowed women living in houses with mortgages. But divorced or widowed women, in the 55+ category were more likely to own outright their home (59% and 49% respectively). Put simply, divorce gives a clear 10% advantage over widowhood. Overall, a total of 70% of women were living in owner/occupier properties / houses.

The ONS did not count men, so it must supposed they are the other side of the same coin, the dead and the dispossessed (or, to put it Soviet terms, the number of peasants provided with better housing by the state is known but the number of the bourgeoisie dispossessed, left homeless, sent to Gulags and generally ‘disappeared’ in not known).

It would be reasonable to speculate that by today, 2006, the ratio of property transfers has increased (post Thatcher). It would also be reasonable to speculate that these women enjoy fully paid up mortgages. ONS figures from the early 1990s show that one year after divorce 66% of women still lived in the matrimonial home (10% fully paid mortgage and 57% with a mortgage being paid). This must mean that 67% of divorced men did not. In addition, widows naturally benefited from their husband’s premature death or ‘death in service’ clause to fully pay their mortgage.[26]

Women are unlikely to take out polices to benefit their spouses in a comparable manner.

Fig 5 shows in percentage terms both male and female lone parents and the type of house occupied. With 95% of custody awards routinely granted to mothers very few lone parents are male which results in their over representation in Fig 5. For instance, if male lone parents are owner occupiers in 12% of cases then that 12% might represent only 500 male parents. Conversely, if female lone parents are owner occupiers in 8% of cases this could represents 40,000 or more, female lone parents in actual numbers. [27]

Fig 5. Lone parents with dependent children: by tenure, (April 2001, GB)

Lone parents with dependent children: by tenure, April 2001

Source:Office for National Statistics; Focus on Families; UK. Pub 7 July 2005

While a proportion of Local Authority housing or privately rented accommodation is occupied by women, Fig 5 shows overwhelmingly that lone mothers absorb a disproportionate amount of such housing stock (48% and 20% = 68%),. Only divorced created lone mothers are likely to live in houses with mortgages or mortgages already paid (7% and 25% = 32%).

We can state the position with regards female property ownership/occupation with a high level of confidence since data capture by government is fem-centric. This means that with few exceptions ONS surveys quiz women regardless of status, the ONS cannot speak with authority with regard to what happens to divorced fathers since no one ever enquires. We have to assume that fathers are the reciprocal, i.e. the balancing item in numbers and percentages of all the points made above.

This has led to two unseen consequences. Firstly, it has meant that a reciprocal number of men no longer had a home after divorce, thus fuelling inflationary demand. Secondly, it has meant that today’s higher house prices simply reflect that constant inflated demand where the supply side cannot respond quickly enough.

The first marked increase in house prices was during Edward Heath premiership in the early 1970s coinciding with the enactment of the 1969 divorce reforms The second, during the 1980s was, perversely, during a hypothetical decrease in marriage but at a time of increased court powers (circa 1984) and an increase in cohabitation.

Given that until now there has been no pecuniary reward for separation its introduction might prompt a continuing ‘catch-up’ in house prices or a step change comparable to the 1969 divorce reforms. Either way, cohabitation is a social phenomenon known for its high turnover (instability) while the housing market is renowned for its volatility. When these combine a stable and predictable housing scene is therefore always under threat.

Conversely, it can be argued in favour of the pre-1969 regime, where both parties had to agree to the

divorce and arrange how to afford it, plus each party did not know for certain how custody would be awarded, that those factors acted as a psychological ‘brake’ to suppress the desire to reach for divorce as the first solution, and hence lowered the demand for housing and lead to greater price stability. [28]

The present high divorce rates (1980 to 2006), coincide with increases during the same period of what have traditionally bee seen as the “twin curses” of cohabitation and illegitimacy. Both have always posed problems for society in practical terms and as a marker for dissipation and moral apathy.

These social curses have been encouraged rather than addressed by the reformers and their policies. Over time a third and a fourth curse has emerged – a declining population (birth rate) and single occupancy households leading to a housing shortage with the conversion of many ‘family’ houses into flats.

The sex discrimination against men and fathers, rampant in the 1980s and 1990s, is still with us. Property rights under the 2006 Law Commission’s proposals will apply rigorously against one sex (men) and in favour of the opposite sex (women). No where is this clearer than in the Example 5.

All the scenarios cited by the Law Commission involve either “implied trusts” or “proprietary estoppel”, or “resulting trusts” or “constructive trusts”. These artificial constructs are currently used as vehicles to override defences and bequeath to women title and occupation of the matrimonial property – whether they have paid a money contribution towards the mortgage or contributed ‘in kind’. In divorce proceedings today the claim of “unreasonable behaviour” brushes aside all reason and the same will happen to any defence of property rights mounted by an owner. [29]

The Law Commission proposes to extend these artificial constructs to cohabiting couples. To this complex recipe for redistribution will be added the complication of express or implied “common intention”. What a field day this will present for lawyers !

By the operation of‘proprietary estoppel’, ‘implied trusts’ etc,judges hearing contested caseshave created and developed new matrimonial and property laws that were not contained in any Acts of Parliament. This was possible because Parliament asked them to use their ‘discretion’ in such matters.Experienced judges concede that in practical terms many such power to have been used abusively and wantonly. The Law Commission nonetheless wants to extend this ability to abuse cohabitees when they separate. An abuse that may lead to action in the ECHR.

In Britain the awarding of property and wealth to non-spouses as if it were spousal matrimonial property would overturn 1,000 years of established property law and custom. This and other drawbacks were pointed out to the Law Commission in 1996 when consideration was first given to their Home Sharer plans. [30]

The outcome for men is that 30 years of meddling has resulted in the ownership of property and

thereby an individual’s investment in the greater community losing its appeal. Society ends up with ‘implied ownership’ – ownership in name only with control, enjoyment, benefit and possession passing to any party who has not purchased it. What will society look like when once valuable assets suddenly lose their attraction and have no buyers ?

The proposals for handing over property are clear cut examples of institutionalised sexism. These proposals directly and indirectly discriminate against one class of person – men and fathers.

4. Fact File

From reliable sources, including for example, Lord Justice Dunn [31] and Ruth Deech, we learn that new legislation cannot be trusted to be enacted as intended. The black letter of the law is today a fiction. Judges can and do warp laws to suit their own penchants and agendas, e.g. Denning. The Law Commission has succumbed to this penchant for private agendas and is a prime example of how an ideology can grip an institution.

In the lead up to the 1969 divorce reforms (and subsequent reforms) former Law Commissioners have revealed how the Law Commission both knowingly and deceitfully mis-used statistical data in order to push through its radical legal reforms (see ‘Hoggett and Deech’ chapter below).

It would therefore not go amiss to remind, or inform the Law Commission if they do not already have the data, of the following facts and figures regarding cohabitation.

1.An analysis of BHPS data suggests that on average half of cohabitations last around 2 years or less (the main reason given for change of status is marriage to partner). [32]

2.Figures from ‘Social Trends’ (ONS No 27, Table 2.13) show that 12% of lone parent women leave to form new households every year, i.e. go to live with parents, live with boyfriend etc.

3.At that ‘departure rate’, 50% of all lone mothers would have a duration of lone parenthood of 4.7 years before it altered, i.e. cohabit or marrying. see B2, p29.

4.3/5’s of cohabiting women were never married. 1/3 were widowed, 2/3’s were divorced or previously married in the previous year.

5.Overall cohabiting unions dissolve completely at 9% per annum while 16% turn onto marriages. Therefore, half of all cohabiting last less than 2.7 yrs.

6.Overall, 15% of lone mothers change status within a year.

7.Families today consist of 27% where there is a lone parent, 34% in two parent relationships, and 15% where there are more than 4 people in a household i.e. father mother and 2 children)

8.Overall 6% of such women with Dependant Children change status every year.

9.12% of women cease to be Lone Parents, i.e. they form a new relationship.

10.In 1993 there were 43% more households than in 1961 -because of cohabiting divorce and lone parents. This at a time when household sizes have reduced dramatically. (This is putting pressure on the Green Belt and local planners – RW). (2.5% increase in population versus 40% increased housing demand).

11.In 1996 an estimated 1.56 million men and 1.53m women were cohabiting (i.e., over the age of 16 and not single and not married). [33]

12.From 1991 to 1996 the numbers of divorced men cohabiting fell from 450 per 1,000 to 370 pr 1,000. The category ‘separated men’ shows the same decline (p13). (Is this a consequence of the CSA ? – Ed).

13.It is estimated that cohabitation will rise to 3m by 2021 AD. (p13).

14.Mortality for women with dependant children is less than that for childless women.

15.Economic factors, activity and circumstances and social security payments do affect life style and life decisions and divorce.

16.People in local authority accommodation are more likely to die and earlier than people in a mortgaged house – by a factor of 100 to 126.

17.1 in 2 lone mothers live in social housing. [34] Married women are least likely to live in local authority accommodation (see Fig 5 above).

18.Those in socio-economic Class V have a 50% greater chance of a higher death rate than those in Class I.

19.In 2004 there were 7.4 million families with 13.1 million dependent children living in them in the UK. Most of these children (66 per cent) lived in a married couple family.[35] See Fig 7.

20.One in four dependent children lived in a lone-parent family in 2004. This was an increase from 1 in 14 in 1972.

21.The average number of children in a family declined from 2.0 in 1971 to 1.8 in 2004.

22.Married couple families were generally larger than other family types, with an average 1.8 children in 2004, compared with 1.7 in cohabiting couple and lone-mother families.

(Many of the above figures can be seen at the tables below, i.e. Fig 2 to 5).

Submissions from other interested groups will probably focus on the current levels and implications of cohabiting. It is therefore our choice to allow comparisons to be made by presenting figures that represent the situation during the mid-1990s when the Law Commission was first contemplating much of what it is now proposing to introduce vis-à-vis cohabitating.

Complicating the issue is the inevitability that single women may enter cohabitation but leave it as a single mother (Fig 6). Equally, married but divorced mothers may enter cohabitation with legitimate children but leave it as a single mother with legitimate and newly illegitimate ones (termed EMF, extra-martial fertility). Or the same mother can marry her current cohabitee and legitimise any children so born.

Fig. 6. Women leaving and entering co-habitation each year 1991-1994 (GB %)

Entering Cohabitation

Single

14%

Divorced

5%

Separated

4%

Widows

1%

Total Entering Cohabitation

23%

Leaving Cohabitation

Marry Partner

16%

Partnership dissolves Never Married

9%

Widow, Div’d, Sep’t

4%

Total Leaving Cohabitation

28%

Source: Social Trends, No 27, Table 2.13.

Widows are the one category least likely to enter cohabitation. Numerically they are the smallest group and the percentage of this group choosing cohabitation is the smallest of all the categories. This may be due to social expectations, age, pension provisions, and/or lack of conflict between the parties before death.

Superficially, the Law Commission’s proposals may appear both worldly and worthy. They might even look as if they will set us on a course for a fairer and more just society but are the recipients of their largesse as innocent or as vulnerable as they make out ?

Indeed, can we afford such altruistic largesse even if they were deserving ? The results of previous legislative interference have shown that poverty increases, not decreases, e.g. Finer Report (UK) and the AFDC and the TANF schemes in the US (see Chap. 20. Intellectual Betrayal).

Cohabiting couples with or without children are numerically – though not exclusively – localised in the lower socio-economic brackets and the numbers ‘with children’ are actually number less than single mothers (Fig 7).

These lower socio-economic families tend to have the highest turnover of parents and problems of abuse – be it alcohol, drug use or neglect of children. They tend to absorb a disproportionate amount of resources and social worker manpower (Appendix C).

From The Guardian we learn that research from the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit has found that ‘problem families’, whose members commit crime, live on benefits, have generally poor health, and

cost the state £250,000 a year each. [36] When combined these families cost a total of £57.9bn every year – and the Law Commission is proposing changes that will significantly increase numbers to perhaps double the existing estimate of 1.3 million “poor” Britons who have these multiple social and domestic problems ? (Appendix C).

Fig 7.

Dependent children: by family type, 2004, UK

Source: Office for National Statistics; Focus on families; UK. Pub 7 July 2005

Ten years ago research by Dr. Patricia Morgan (LSE) showed that 8 out of 10 children ‘taken into care’ came from families where the mother was not married. [37] Child abuse is a social scar that needs to be reduced, not encouraged.

For an impartial perspective we have to look outside the scope of Law Commission’s immediate concern and examine the bigger picture. We have to not simply focus on the box giving cohabitees more rights but the ramifications we will find in many of the adjacent boxes. For instance, across all races, joint custody which had been steadily increasing in the years leading up to the Children Act 1989 (peaking at 25.9% by 1991 when it was implemented) abruptly plunged while sole mother residency (which had been decreasing) suddenly began to increase.

·Was cohabitation a factor and is there a link with the alleged higher levels of domestic violence reported since ?

·Since the first wave of immigration from the West Indies, it has been the customary for Caribbean mothers to be single and head up household. If so, is this reflected in the statistics for awards of sole custody ? Is it, as a consequence, reflected in ONS defined “living arrangements” we see today, i.e. influencing young girls from other ethnic backgrounds to follow suit (see graphs below) ?

·The same pattern and frequency of single mother household (SMH) does not hold true for black mothers from African countries who are much more likely be married.

·Will there, as Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St Louis predicts, be fewer women murdered as fewer marriages take place ?Probably not, because very few spouses are murdered by spouses at present.

·Conflating spouse with cohabitee is common and even experts, such as Prof. Rosenfeld, can get confused and start from the wrong premise. Proposals to equalise marriage with cohabiting will only add fresh impetus to already erroneous data.

·It is the two sub-sets of cohabiting couple and the boy/girlfriend relationship, that give rise to most murders of women. [38] (Appendix D to D2). To often they are wrongly aggregated into the total of married couples and even described as such, e.g. see ONS. Population Trends.

·Lone mothers are dependent, if divorcing on confiscation of the matrimonial home and if never married, on the provision of local authority housing or the private rented sector (see Fig 5). Lone fathers, by contrast, are no where near such a drain on state resources.

·Has the Law Commission concerned itself sufficiently with the Asian community’s customs and expectation ? Their proposals will in all probability overturn many age-old customs. In the tightcommunities that comprise Pakistani and Indian neighbourhoods the exchange, pledges and/or transfer of assets, wealth, property and money can occur immediately before or after marriage. Where marriages are frequently inter-family and inter-tribal (i.e. clan) this proposal can pose new sources of family or clan conflict, i.e. vendetta.

·The prospect of their established order being compromised by irreligious secular legal moves from the host community to empower what hitherto would be regarded as ‘non-family members’ until the wedding, will not go unnoticed.

·Should the Law Commission, therefore, expect its actions to result in a surge in ‘honour’ killings or perhaps murders where the police already find it nearly impossible to collect evidence to convict ?

·Cohabiting has several dynamics including distinct patterns, age, ‘ethnicity’ and inter-racial factors (see graphs below).

An article by Leo McKinstry in the ‘Spectator’ entitled ‘The Age of Unreason ‘(April 23rd 2005) pointed to ONS figures indicating that, currently “55% of all births [were] to foreign born mothers”.

He went on to cast doubt on the received wisdom when he wrote, “…. In recent years …. we have been continually told about the substantial economic contribution that immigrants have made to Britain, said to be worth £2.5 billion a year.”

He also reminded politicians that, “When it comes to housing benefits or Income Support, blacks are twice as likely as whites to be claimants.”

This socio-economic group is also where we find cohabitation most prevalent and one wonders whether the Law Commission has paid enough attention to all the dynamics it will be affecting or whether it is happy to play the role of a modern Pandora ?

5. Cohabiting Patterns

The ONS reports that “Around six out of ten men and women in the UK live in a couple. Five in ten men and women are married and one in ten is cohabiting”. [39]

Self evidently the groups the Law Commission is trying to assist is very small – it is only female 50% of those 10% of couples who live as man and wife, i.e. 5% of that part of the population that can be classified as living as a couple (see Fig 7).

This persistent addiction to a sub-set within a minority amounts to a character defect verging on the Pavlovian. Legislators have fallen into this mode for the past 30 years and appear to have unlearnt how to legislate for the majority. The result is that the meaning of the word ‘democracy’ has, for all practical purposes, been lost to our lexicon.

By contrast, in the years leading up to 1969 the virtues of a new divorce reform Act were advertised as facilitating and encouraging the end of de facto illicit unions and to the benefit to everyone. Conceding that these unhappy couples were not a majority of the population it was argued it would benefit society at large if they could be ‘released’ and their illicit unions ‘legitimised’.

These unhappy couples were the product of unhappy matrimonial unions that could not be ended by the divorce laws as they then stood. There would be a ‘one off’ surge of around 250,000 petitions and then divorce numbers would return to their 60,000 average of the late 1960s.

This never happened.

Instead, Britain saw a fall in marriages ( Fig 8 ) but a rise in both divorce and cohabitation (aspects that both society and the Law Commission then viewed as ‘social curses’).

By 1998 demographic evidence revealed, that around 25% of non-married women under 60 and 26% of non-married men under 60 were cohabiting in England and Wales. [40]

Fig 8. NumberofMarriages.England & Wales. 1961 – 1995 (000).

Source: ONS ‘Population Trends’, No 91, Table 22 [NB Divorce Reform Act 1969, enacted 1971].

This is, of course, a crude aggregated figure containing many sub-sets. For instance, of those who had not chosen a semi-permanent life style, 70% of women in 1993 had cohabited before their first marriage compared with 5% in 1968. [41]

With divorce no longer rare, other figures became available, i.e. for serial divorces. So that in the same year, 1993, we can look back and see that 90% of women had cohabited before their 2nd marriage, compared with 25% in 1968. [42]

We cannot draw comfort from patterns in cohabiting to off-set any decline in marriage. Social Trends No 27 (ONS, 1997) shows cohabiting as a series of short-term relationships, with only a very small minority lasting as long as marriages – even given the present relatively high rate of divorce.

The overall risk of family breakdown (by family type) is shown below in Fig 16 (Chp 23), and the fluidity of cohabiting, i.e. women leaving and entering co-habitation, is shown in Fig 6.

This hides the amount and depth of hurt felt by both men and women as unions dissolve. By advocating a mechanism to increase dissolutions the Law Commission will, to paraphrase Lord Mackay of Clashfern, not add anything to the sum of human happiness.

Cohabitation fails to compensate for the lost stability that marriage once gave to young children and adolescents. In fact, quite the opposite, the numbers leaving cohabitation exceeds those entering in any one year (see Fig 6 above). This is only made possible by the continued but diminished attractiveness of marriage especially to men. It is only now are we realising that cohabitation impacts the birth rate which in turn impacts the ability to pay pensions. As the trend line for the number of marriages has declined ( Fig 8 ) the number of births in the United Kingdom has fallen – down 200,000 from its 1948 level of 905,000 (Fig 11). An abbreviated table of legitimate and illegitimate births from 1961 to 1997 is shown in Fig 9.

The significance in the illegitimate trend is that of the broad family types shown in Fig 7, only the married couple would be self-supporting were government to evaporate overnight. The remaining life style choice 33% of all couples require significant and sustained funding over many years.

The importance of ‘family patterns’ is to assist national and local governments to meet vital market needs and service provisions, particularly future housing, schools, hospitals and employment needs etc. The basic information required would typically focus on;

the number of households types, e.g. terraced, detached

the number of households containing families

the number of families with children

the number of children per family

the number of bedrooms available

the age at which CFS (completed family size) is achieved

the number of childless couples

the number of ‘single mother households’ (SMH)

the number of unmarried couples cohabiting

the age at which conception / live birth occurs

From a statistical perspective, marriage and cohabiting are very different beasts and we would plead for the Law Commission to keep this very much in the forefront of their minds

Cohabitation is a ‘flow variable’, but marriage is a ‘stock variable’. Marriage is a ‘stock variable’ because theoretically it is a permanent state. When it does change it is usually only after significant period of time and therefore it can be counted allowing calculations and projections to be reliably made.

However, cohabitations is usually not permanent or semi- permanent; it is usually transient and is therefore a ‘flow variable’ (average 18 months). A flow variable’ can best be considered using an economic analogy. Cohabitation is akin to, say, ‘earned income’; it is generated in return for hours spent labouring and although it may be ‘pocketed’ this is temporarily for it is ultimately exchanged to pay bills or converted into other goods. This affects the amount of money shown on the bank statement which will be highly volatile depending on day the statement was printed.

As can be seen in items 21 and 22, (Fact File above), the average number of children in a family has not only declined from 1971 to 2004 but was dependent on family type. Below, Fig 9, summarises the trend in ‘live births’ from 811,000 in 1961 to only 642,000 in 1997. Two factors have to be born in mind; firstly that the increase in out-of-wedlock births has not offset the declining birth rate and is not anticipate to do so. Secondly, the cost of out-of-wedlock births is substantially higher – initially and over 20 years – than income-tax -yielding births inside wedlock.

Fig 9. Live Births

Outside Marriage

Year

1961

1971

1981

1991

[1996]

1997

48,500

65,700

81,000

211,300

[232.7]

237,900

All live births

1961

1996

1997

811,300

649,500

642,100

Source: ONS Population Trends No 91, (Spring 1998). Table 9 & 10. page 62

Invalidating ‘Equity’

The Law Commission’s 2006 proposals do not address these aspects or even considers the ominous implications of its intentions. It fails to see that its plans will adversely affect an already wretched situation. It also fails to remember that the Equity maxims hold that “Equity will not aid the volunteer’ and the female cohabitee is volunteering to cohabit and so should not be entitled to compensation – and more to the point is another maxim i.e. “Equity delights in equality”.

Despite the word ‘mother’, ‘women’ or ‘female’ never being mentioned in the Law Commission’s 2006 proposals the sole class of beneficiaries is clear.The word ‘wife’ is only mentioned occasionally where it enables the female cohabitee a degree of licence to qualify for widowhood benefits, e.g. claims for compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, for probate and a share of the estate, even in intestacy, via the Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975, and any other insurance policy where the male partner is “deceased”.

When the frequency and prevalence of domestic violence is associated with cohabitation, and young

single women and social housing, then society should be surprised to learn that the Law Commission is advocating yet more cohabitation.

When ‘marital rape’ is usually code for rape by a cohabitee (an existing or former ‘partner’), it is reckless for the Law Commission to be advocating yet more cohabitation.

The cumulative effect will be to create huge disincentives to be emotionally engaged with the opposite sex, for to do so will entail a huge gamble by the male party.

However, if the Law Commission is to be believed this will, under the ‘equality’ banner, not be confined to heterosexual couples but extended to homosexual couples – though which partner the Family Division chooses to be crucified in the same way heterosexual men are currently crucified is very much open to question.

If the Law Commission persists with its cohabitation ideas, distinct patterns may emerge in the future. This could encompass the accelerated growth in Britain of the ‘singleton’, i.e., a child staying or living at home with its parents well into early adulthood. Already this is a feature seen in another wealthy country, Japan, which also faces declining marriage and birth rates.

Other discernable patterns might see the emergence of non-cohabitation along race and religion lines.

A spilt along ethnic lines may see Asian families via Asian young women becoming the main supplier, both in quantity and legitimacy, of racially homogenous children (see Ethnicity below).

We may even see, as a result of their non-cohabitation inclination, a type of ‘premium’ for Asian young women materialise from males among other ethnic groups including Whites.

We have already felt the impact on national GDP of divorce with a surprisingly high number of divorced fathers disengaging from the normal white economy and choosing the anonymity of the Grey or Black economy.Moves by the Law Commission to treat male cohabitees as if they were divorced would increase this number in the ‘Black economy’.

6. Ethnicity

Britain is comprised of three main ethnic groups which the ONS and others describe in shorthand terms as ‘White, Black and Asian’ (there are of course other minorities, e.g. Chinese, Peruvian and mixed race but these are numerically insignificant). [43]

The question of ethnicity cannot be divorced from cohabitation for several reasons that will become obvious in this and later chapters. The Law Commission may feel itself very competent but it is delusional and a competence based on a blinkered horizon. Its past record is one of offering up reforms without giving due consideration to the knock effects of its technical tinkerings. No one lives in a vacuum. New laws and legal changes cannot be viewed in isolation is disasters are to be avoided. There is no evidence that the Law Commission has ever been capable of this.

Prior to the 2001 National Census (i.e. in 1997), the total population of Great Britain was estimated to be 56.5m, composed of an ethnic minority population of 3.6 million (6.4%), and 93% or 52,936,000 Whites.[44] The 2001 census revealed that Whites now constituted 92% or 54m out of population 58.7m. In a period of 10 years from in 1992 to 2001 the ethic minorities had grown from 5.8% to 8%.

In Great Britain the number of people who came from an ethnic group other than White grew by 53% between 1991 and 2001, from 3.0 million in 1991 to 4.6 million in 2001. [45]

Regional variances mean that the Greater London area contained 85% of the total Black-African population in Britain and nearly 60% of the Black-Caribbean population (but less than 20% of the Pakistani population). However, the metropolitan counties of Greater London, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and West Midlands together contained nearly 75% of the ethnic minority population (Black and Asian), compared with less than a quarter of the White population. Some towns in the north and midlands have more Asian than White residents.

Ethnic customs and practices already diverge greatly in matters of marriage, cohabiting and births

outside wedlock. For instance, Asian women are least likely to give birth outside of marriage. The graph below (Fig 10), show that 14% of Asian teenagers give birth outside marriage compared to over 30% for White teenagers with Black teenagers the most likely, at 68%, to become unmarried mothers.

(NB. all the graphs in this chapter represent data from the early-1990s to the mid 1990-s).

For all groups this trend in birth outside marriage drops as the sample size reaches their mid to late twenties. Asian women then sustain a slight increase not seen in the other two groups but in the present or new era, begun since ‘9/11’which has witnessed the rise of Islamism. We can expect social and cultural pressures to suppress Asian out-of-wedlock births to minimal levels in all age groups.

Fig 10. Single mothers / illegitimate births (by age and ethnic group) (%)

Source: OPCS Population Trends. No 77. Autumn 1994

The cohabitation trend among White women is initially the highest but falls from 19% to 8% (see Fig 11). This corresponds with their expected transition from cohabitation and into marriage (see Fig 6). Cohabitation for Asian women starts at 2% and falls gradually to 0.1% by the time the 35-year-old age group is reached (Fig 11).

The decrease in cohabitation levels seen among Whites and Asians might be expected to extend to Black women but as can be seen from the same graph this does not occur. In fact, Fig 11 shows cohabitation actually increases in the 24 to 30 age groups among Blacks.

Except for Asian women, cohabitation never falls below 8% in the other two racial and ethnic groups and across all age range (16 to 35) it cruises at around 10% -14% level.

Between the racial and ethnic minorities there are huge discrepancies in educational attainment, with Black boys fairing worst and Asian boys fairing best. This tendency apparent to fathers groups for many years is only now beginning to be accepted by mainstream thinking.

The consensus, using standard measures, is that many White boys do only marginally better than Black boys but far worse than Asian boys. Not having a father is indicative of both educational under-achievement and future criminality.

Rolling forward 10 years (to 2004) we can speculate whether there would even have been a need to introduce ASBOs had fathers been present in more Black and White families when children were growing up. Higher cohabiting and illegitimacy rates among Whites and Black and the number of ASBOs issued would indicate there is some linkage (Appendix D2).

Fig 11. Cohabitation(by age and ethnic group) (%)

Source OPCS No 77. Autumn 1994, Population Trends.

A survey in the Caribbean revealed that only 22% of fathers who had 8-year-old children actually lived with their children (ref. The United Nations Children Fund).

Diversity between the ethnic sub-sets is again found when looking at the ‘living arrangements’ of the three main groups. We have already commented on the stricter social and marriage customs of the Asian community and this is reflected in their attitudes to education, work and, for instance, extra-marital sex. Unfashionable though it is in our present day society, men and religion play a strong role in shaping the Asian society.

For this reason the following three graphs are labelled Patriarchal, Matriarchal and Transitional, i.e. moving from Patriarchal to Matriarchal, to illustrate the differences that differently ordered societies can induce. The graph entitled ‘Patriarchal’ (Fig 12) typifies the social structure found in the Asian community where marriage is the expected norm. Matriarchal describes the more fem-centric West Indian social hierarchy.

This is not in any way to imply that West Indian men are lesser men but to indicate a regime where men are marginalised in households monopolised by women and mothers.

Broadly speaking, men play a pro-active and almost exclusive role in family life, local and social affairs in the Asian regime while in the West Indian regime men allow themselves to be far less ‘engaged’ with family or civic matters.

In the context of marriage, it would appear that Patriarchal regime achieves a greater probability of women attaining married status and of having children born inside marriage (Fig 12). Lone parent and cohabiting as we have seen above, in Fig 11, 12 (Asian Trend), are at minimal levels.

This is in stark contrast to Black family formation (Fig 13) where we find the number of married couples never exceeds that of lone parents and we can deduce that the prospect for women of marriage under this regime is significantly less. Instead of marriage, it is the two forms of single parenthood that dominate.

What is clear from the data (e.g. ‘Focus on Women’ – ONS Statistics), is that matriarchally-inclined or matrilineal societies, produce young women who not only start “families” at an earlier age but start

them unprepared and as ‘lone parents’, i.e. SMHs (Fig 10 and 13).

Fig 12. Patriarchal Societies by Marital status (Asian women)

Derived from OPCS No 77. Autumn 1994 Population Trends.

In addition they start them at an age when they would normally be expected to be at school / college and therefore we can suppose “that their career prospects are blighted” (ref. Focus on Women – ONS Statistics)

The trend first seen in the 1970s of reproducing every 16 years has now produced a situation where reasonably middle-aged women, in their mid 30s, can be grandmothers and slightly older women (50 ish) can be great grandmother. This may go some way to explaining why child costs paid as state benefits have increased rather then decreased as the numbers both have fallen (Fig 17. Treasury Expenditure). In economics this could be described as the velocity of circulation.[46]

Fig 13.

Derived from OPCS No 77. Autumn 1994 Population Trends.

The problems with velocity of circulation is that because for a limited time it can, of itself, sustain an unsustainable higher demand level it can be mistaken for real demand and real increases in GNP.

If divorce acts as if it were velocity of circulation, then we should not be surprised that at some time the average price levels (e.g. houses) increase and the economy (number of transactions) might overheat. If this is the case we should avert cohabiting numbers adding to the effect.

The matriarchal model (Fig 13, but also Fig 10), has significant medical drawbacks exposed by the advances in 20th century medical science. It will probably not be unusual for there to be no common Y chromosome among the DNA of the children born into matriarchal families.

Bone marrow or organ transplants become more fraught than they need to be.

The matriarchal paradigm, although it displays a marked slump from 65% in the incidence of lone parenthood at age 16, it rarely falls below 50% in the 32 year old age group.This means that less than 50% of young women can ever hope to marry. Once, therefore, the repeat pattern is achieved it is often a cycle that cannot easily be broken and thus matrilineal or matriarchal is an appropriate description.

In addition, Fig 13 shows how cohabitation rates remains fairly constant regardless of age. This is marked contrast with the patriarchal model where the incidence is low to begin with and never rises above 20% (Fig 12). However, it should be noted that cohabitation rates are more frequent among Afro-Caribbean women than those from the continent of Africa, whose marriage patterns resemble more closely European families.

What is termed in this paper, the ‘Transitional Societies’ graph, refers to the White population and shows a possible mixed message being received by women in their early reproductive years, i.e. 16 – 23 (Fig 14). Although it shares with Fig 8 a strong marriage arch mimicking the patriarchal graph it is not between the ages of 16 and 23, the first choice between (compare with earlier graphs).

However, any confusion in choosing SMH or cohabitation status soon withers and declines by 50% (from approx. 20% to 10%, Fig 11) and lone parenthood falls from 32% to 12% at 34 years of age.

Fig 14. Transitional Societies. (Marital status).

Source: Population Trends No 77. Autumn 1994.

There is good reason to believe that the Law Commissions proposals would see the married trend become subservient to the Lone Parent line seen in Fig 13, or even dominate from the age of 20 onwards as seen in the trend line in Fig 10 for Black single mothers.

A good case can be made out for saying that young people (16 – 25) are demonstrating in Fig 14, confusion and appear undecided which path they should choose and which therefore is best for them. At present, after a hesitant start, it appears that most White girls and young women choose marriage, though at a later age. This reinforces ONS figures, which show that while marriage is not rejected it is deferred. This view is fully supported by both longitudinal and attitudinal surveys indicating that for 90% of women, their ultimate goal remains marriage and a family. It is reasonable to assume that with the data available the cross-over point, between married and lone parents, currently at 20 -23 will increase to 26-27 in the decade ending 2004.

The average age at which marriage takes place has been slowly rising over the last 15 years. At present the average age for a woman to marry is about 29. This fact is independent of the above graphs and should not be confused with the graphs which depict living arrangements by age and which are indicators of age of motherhood and marital and non-marital status.

According to the 2001 census, 59% of households with children are married, 11% are co-habiting and 22% lone parent families (the latter figure of 22% is roughly equally divided between never-married mothers and divorced women).

Significantly, the White cohabitation rate was already much higher than the Asian level in the mid-1990s, and could be said to roughly equate with the Black or matriarchal society level especially at the 16- 20 age group. (Fig 10, 11 and 13).Fortunately, the illegitimacy level has still some way to go – at least in percentage terms though, of course, numerically, there are far more pregnancies at present among White girl than there are Afro-Caribbean or Asian (Fig 10, 11, 13 and 14).

The significance of all the above factors can be seen in the variations displayed by the ethnic groups between:-

·male school achievement

·male entrance to university

·male employment

·male professional careers

·the period taken for a male to start a family after marriage

·male prisoners

·and even male suicide

Asian males do well in all the aspirational categories but in general terms Afro-Caribbean males tend to do poorly, e.g. in prisoners and suicide.

One culture is male inclusive while the latter encourages young single women to start families without knowing the disadvantages to their children of not having a regular, non-varying, unchanging man in their children’s life.

The effects of having no father present can also be seen in those children put into local authority ‘care’ -invariably (80%) come from SMHs or separated cohabitees. (Appendix E). Among Afro-Caribbean children there is a higher probability of no constant father or father figure – unlike Asian and White families. [47] Proportionately, Afro-Caribbean men are more likely than White or Asian men to achieve less using conventional benchmarks, to become involved in criminal activity, be more violent and be jailed.[48]

A married man’s traditional role is meeting the cost of his family needs and improving their standard of living. [49] To maintain its pledge to eliminate poverty the Labour government has been forced into becoming a surrogate ‘married man’s’ by making up the low incomes of SMHs and cohabiting couples. One example of state surrogacy is ‘Sure Start’, originally aimed at wayward and teenage SMHs, it costs the taxpayer £1.5 billion per annum.

Asian mothers tend not to place a strain on national resources because their husbands tend to fully finance their cost of living. This is true of married White women but only after the age of about 30 when more marry and resultant joint incomes increase to over £27,000.The outcome is that one regime, i.e. the matrilineal, represents a constant and substantial drain on Treasury funds while the other categories do not.

Despite a great deal of evidence showing that marriage benefits and protects both adults and children, successive UK governments have dismantled policy mechanisms that distinguish married from unmarried cohabiting families. This cannot be a function of Party Politics but the product of advice being given to all governments from some specific quarter.

Given the central importance accorded to ensuring optimal ‘outcomes’ for children espoused by all public policies, this can only demonstrate either total hypocrisy, sheer ignorance, a fear of converting words into action, or a reckless disregard. One of those options is endemic throughout Whitehall.

The lack of distinction between marriage and cohabitation in government policy and research is untenable if we are to believe that Whitehall is managed by erudite and cultured ‘mandarins’.

Moreover, analysts have for some years grown uneasy on the dependability of Whitehall produced data. They have complained about, among other things, the aggregation of distinct sub-sets and the conflation of terms. A prime example is category ‘married’ which is conflated with cohabiting couples. It appears to be a deliberate policy to add cohabiting couples to the married total and label the result “married couples”. (see Appendix F & F1 and Appendix G).

At a time when the state is increasingly requiring market players to be’ transparent’ it is incumbent upon the same state that their delivery, functioning and accountability is also transparent through the release of comprehensive and reliable statistics [50]

The government was publicly accused, in 2004, of suppressing an official ONS report by social statistician John Haskey that suggested Labour’s generous welfare benefits encouraged single motherhood. This is not the first time interference has been felt. (see Appendix F, F1 and F2)

If the Law Commission’s proposals succeed in driving a wedge between the sexes, as outlined in the previous chapter (i.e. Ch 5. Cohabiting Patterns), it will have unforeseen, and probably negative results. It will impact differentially not only depending on income and general wealth but also racially. The creation of huge disincentives for males to become emotionally engaged with their children could have unpredictable and possibly catastrophic outcomes.

In the future, White women may find it difficult to find a man eager for emotional and / or sexual fulfilment, especially among her own racial group. Asian women have a culture of stricter marriage and chastity customs to fall back on and so will not feel so alienated.

Asian women are more prone to consanguinity, i.e. marriage within their own close family or extended ‘clan’ where wide age differences are not unusual. This is a dimension and direction that White men may find appealing and if called upon would volunteer a change of religion.

It is serial and polygamous traits that will most isolate White women and lead to unprecedented levels of miscegenation, i.e. increased inter-racial sexual congress particularly between White men and Black or Asian women. The children of resulting mixed race relationships may tend to have a crisis of identity and be confused as to which of their cultural heritages they should follow.

7. Race and Riots

The ethnic dimension of change is one we ignore at our peril. It has been unfashionable to the point of taboo to discuss racial tensions in any other terms but harmony and a ‘multicultural’ consensus. In reality that consensus has always been a political fig leaf and is, at last, breaking down with some hard truths laid bare. Much of the credit for the volte face and the ‘reality checks’ should go to the new chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, who has brought a sorely needed degree of realism to the issues. [51]

For three decades an underclass has been allowed to grow within Britain’s borders; [52] an underclass, sometimes referred to as the ‘socially excluded’, a term which fails to convey the immediacy or menace it deserves. In 1989 Charles Murray predicted that within a decade Britain’s underclass would become proportionately as large as that of the U.S.

The urban poor of the inner cities especially when competing for funding for ‘pet’ ethnic projects has provided fertile grounds for tensions and conflicts among all the deprived sub-sets. The award of project funding is seen as conferring preference on one ethnic group over another. In some instances funding streams have totally withheld from Whites and they have been reduced to mere spectators in their own land.

How this will affect the perceptions of national identity and the ethnic equilibrium is open to question.

The same Leo McKinstry’s article mentioned earlier (the ‘Spectator’, 23rd April 2005) states;

“And the ethnic minorities are far more likely to be welfare recipients than are their white counterparts; 28% of all ethnic minority groups and 34% of all blacks receive income related benefits compared with 18% of whites.”

This is not news and was the attitude of the white majority in many areas. The only difference is that someone ‘in authority’ has disclosed it and in so doing validated what had previously been dismissed and smeared as prejudice and ignorance.

To have written such an article five years earlier would have brought down odium on the author’s head and he would have been ostracised as if he were a holocaust denier.

Purportedly a Labour Party supporter, McKinstry is better placed than most to question policy and the ‘spin’ put on Press Release pumped out by the New Labour government. To then survive what would be the inevitable retaliations and personal attacks that so characterised recent media debates is today remarkable.

After the July 7th 2001 riots in Bradford, Oldham (in June) and Burnley (May 1st), policy makers woke up to the fact that multiculturalism in Britain wasn’t working, that disaffection was rife at street level and that many other interconnected policies were, therefore, on the brink of disintegration.

Council elections in Oldham had seen two BNP local councillors elected (in 2001) and this was repeated in several other towns. National political leaders, responded by berating the local electorate for foolishness, their short-sightedness, and for being so ‘gullible’. This demonstrated the contempt in which politicians held the electorate and how disconnected national leaders had become. [53]

By Dec 2001 there was a flow of reports analysing what had gone wrong and what were the factors. [54]

Of the many interesting points made three are noteworthy:

Firstly, multiculturalism, it appeared, had led instead to an undeclared, self-imposed ‘apartheid’ existence with the rate of mixed-race marriages in the town at less than 1%.

Secondly, in the year leading up to the riots there were 572 reported race related crimes in the Oldham area – 62% of the victims were White. This must have been a difficult counter-intuitive fact for politicians to accept, wedded as they were to political correctness.

Thirdly, paranoia among the far-left wing parties led to them circulating rumours and agitating civil commotion on the pretext that the far-right wing might be conspiring at something or other. But a legitimate democratic society at ease with itself, allows both far-left wing and the far-right wing toorganise, i.e. ‘conspire’, to gain power in local elections.

The ‘disconnect’ between people and politicians continued in the following years and by 2004 the BNP were again successful in the Barking & Dagenham local council elections where governmentminister, Margaret Hodge, was the MP. She rocked the tabloid press in May 2006 when claimed that ‘8 out of 10 voters in Barking had considered voting BNP’. Mainstream politicians saw this as giving a massive boost to parties of the far right.

The power of rumour, racial tension and misunderstanding was again in evidence as the probable cause of the Handsworth riots in Oct 2005. Unlike the 1985 riots which saw black Britons fighting the police over drug arrests and lead to the burning of Asian shops and businesses, the 2005 riot was between individual members of the Black British (mainly Afro-Caribbean) and Asian British communities (drugs and property was not the issue).

‘Community leaders’ in these situations are very exposed and frequently impotent as the act of rioting always hands power to the mob. Community leaders’ involvement with the various agencies associated with ‘the establishment’, e.g. police, and local town hall, inadvertently isolates them from the members of their communities. The leaders then feel under siege from their own community and over-react to aspersions made by the host nation’s media. The ordinary community members is naively radicalised by activists from deeply ideological political parties [55] who are ‘parachuted’ in or ‘drift’ into the area and re-interpret feelings of deprivation into racial inequality and general anxiety which then feeds into mob violence in the name of a cause suggested to them. The power of the mob today should not be underestimated and if composed of the underclass then, as we have seen in northern towns, the police can do little more than attempt containment.

The passiveness, indeed absence, of the English mob in full cry is a comparatively new phenomenon.

The London mob of the 18th century could intimidate a government. It was the Hanoverian kings, e.g. George I, who secured control of the streets by the passing of the Riot Act (1715) and introduced the Bow Street Runners (1749). Today’s lechery, lewdness and drunken behaviour seen in most of our town centres at night has a pedigree stretching back to Hogarth’s sketches ofthe mob, mother’s ruin (1751), and the Gin Riots (Gin Act 1736).

The old `reasoned’ mantras of the received wisdom have led society into a political wasteland. The old paradigms that once served us have now failed. We are surrounded by the rotting hulks of social policies that at one time or another have been thrust upon us. Sympathetic civil servants have introduced legislation for minorities but marginalised both the majority and common sense. Future civil unrest / mob riots may become increasingly racially polarised with ‘living arrangements’ a key factor.

In the coming 5 years (to 2011) attention must be focussed on identifying and finding solutions. The Law Commission’s proposal attacks with secular ‘solutions’ both the religion of the ethnic cultures and the majority’s right to choose their particular pursuit of happiness.

It should be for ‘the people’ to determine governments – it is not for government, or even the Law Commission, to force its opinions on the people.

Although a sea change is underway in the mainstream discourse, many valuable years have been lost while researcher not on the preferred ‘A list’ were denied government funding. Those academics on the preferred ‘A list’ and the pressure groups ‘favoured’ by government – both of whom had invested their reputations in policies – still maintain the pretence of making inroads into the problems. In order to prevent activists from feeling ignored, and deferring the need for a comprehensive political re-think, this studied ignorance has also suited government.

If we are to survive relatively intact we have to capture and treat the malaise of both racism and sexism – meaning the inclusion of institutionalised sexism against men. We must avoid policies that are later revealed as nothing but sterile cul-de-sacs.

Government wrongly believes that it needs only to commit itself to better education for all, to pledge to eliminate crime, reduce poverty by increasing state benefits (but not to over-tax people) and find employment for as many as possible, for a harmonious society to emerge. This is wrong. It smacks of big government and big budgetary requirements when all that is needed is to re-adopt a sensible family policy for those topics to become self-correcting and almost self-funding

The biggest hurdle Government will have to overcome is the realisation that the role fathers is pivotal to all matters discussed in this submission. A re-emphasis on male employment is key. [56]

An increase in cohabitation will naturally see the rate of illegitimacy increase. Crucially it will also see the fatherlessness ratio and its prevalence and frequency rocket. ‘Fatherlessness’ results in higher levels of; morbidity; mortality; criminality; teenage pregnancies; mental health problems and suicide.

Each of those specific pathologies places additional costs of millions of pounds on government. The smart option would be to find ways to reduce those costs. Morbidity can come in the form of obesity and become the cause of premature death, mortality.

Addendum (Oct 2008).The thin line between poor diet and child abuse”.Social workers have to decide whether to place him ‘in care’ an eight-year-old boy, Connor McCreaddie, weighing 14 stone and who has difficulty walking. To date he has broken four beds, six lavatory seats and five bicycles (the report does not mention that he and many other obese children are from single mother households).

The committee of MPs estimates that the cost of treating overweight and obese patients is at least £7 billion a year. They heard that obese children run a high risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and arthritis. www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article1434671.ece

Government needs to promote a civic identity (Crick’s virtu), where a culture values virtues and both the majority and minority interests are not ignored. The prospect of future riots can be reduced by investing in families and fathers today.

8. Illegitimacy

Why should we focus so intently on illegitimacy is a question easily answered. Children who do not have a father in their upbringing have a ‘blighted’ life – and this equally applies to children who have a succession of ‘fathers’ foisted upon them.

Their ‘life chances’, when compared with any group of children that have been raised by their biological father, are considerable reduced and they suffer higher morbidity rates, mental health problems, commit suicide more often, turn to violence more quickly (and at an earlier age), end up in jail more often and have higher mortality rates than are more usually found in two-parent families (Appendix H).

Secondly, having no father indicates a scenario where there is no investment across a whole gamut of measures. For instance, no investment in the family unit, no emotional investment, no commitment, no long term planning in that unit, no investment in the immediate neighbourhood; no investment in self-improvement, less self-reliance and no investment by that family unit back into society.

One of the two exceptions to this pattern is the widowed mother and her children who do not exhibit any of the above pathologies. [57] The other exception is the ‘single father’ parent / household where he is either a widower or has won custody of the children. Children from these two subsets succeed as well as any child reared by the traditional two parent family.

Therefore, regardless of income levels the common denominator among children of single parents who ‘fail’, and who exhibit pathologies is the female ‘single mother parent /household’ variety.

The single mother household (SMH) is a binary sub-set – a two sided coin. One side is made up of the single never-wed mothers who according to a recent studio contributor to ‘Woman’s Hours’ (Sept 2006) have ‘made a near-profession of the benefits regime’ she is entitled to from the welfare state.

The second side to the SMH coin are single mother households resulting from divorce or separation (fathers represent only 5% of this second sub-set and so are statistically ignored).

Both of these sub-groups depend for their survival on being funded by the tax-payer – for the only economically viable unit where children are present is the married couple (see later chapters and graphs).Any other social arrangement is profoundly unsound, cannot stand alone and is not self-sustaining. All the usual and much publicised ‘alternative lifestyle’ are simply not economically viable.

Cohabitation can, as its defenders always maintain, be as permanent or semi-permanent as the average marriage. This is not in dispute. What is in dispute is that this does not apply to the majority of cases. Only the very best examples of cohabitation come close to the stability that poor to average marriage can provide for children.

Most cohabitation ‘episodes’, for that are what they are, last 18 months to 2 years (depending on median or average etc). This means that 80% or more of adult cohabitation leaves children without fathers for long periods of time and the father figures they might have are frequently substituted.

By definition, illegitimacy is a social consequence closely associated with SMHs and cohabitation [58]. Fig 15 below reveals how illegitimacy numbers have increased from 58,000 in 1870 (itself a historically high point) to 189,000 in 2006. The intervening years have seen illegitimacy fall consistently and the reader should be aware that signs of a rise were first seen in 1961 (not shown in this ONS series) to 48,500 from the 1951 level of 38,000.

Fig 15. Births in the United Kingdom

Live Births – Annual averages or calendar years

StStill-biBirths

Year

Total (*)

Male

Female

Legitimate

Illegitimate

Percent of Illegitimate population

Total per 1,000 Women aged 15 – 44

Total per 1,000 married aged 16 – 44

Legitimateper 1,000

Male – – – Female

Thous rate and per 1,000

1870-2

960

490

470

903

58

6.0

35. 0

151.5

296.3

1,040

– –

1880-2

1,043

532

511

988

55

5.3

33. 6

145.7

288.6

1,041

– –

1890-2

1,049

535

514

1,000

49

4.7

30.6

1290

268.0

1,041

– –

1900-2

1,095

558

537

1,049

47

4.3

28.6

115.1

240.7

1,037

– –

1910-2

1,037

528

508

989

47

4. 5

24. 6

99. 4

202.5

1,039

– –

1920-2

1,018

522

496

968

49

4. 8

23. 1

93. 0

– – .

1,052

– –

1930-2

750

383

367

713

36

4. 8

16. 3

66. 5

– –

1,046

– –

1946

955

492

464

893

62

6. 5

19. 4

84. 3

– –

1,060

– –

1947

1,025

528

498

971

54

5.3

20.7

91.5

– –

1,060

– –

1948

905

466

439

857

48

5. 3

18. 1

81. 4

– –

1,062

– –

1949

855

440

415

812

43

5. 1

17. 0

77. 5

– –

1,061

– –

1950

818

421

397

777

41

5. 0

16. 2

74. 6

– –

1, 062

1951

797

41

387

758

38

4. 8

15. 8

73. 0

– –

1,060

(**)

Total

Male

Female

Total

Legit

Total

Illegit

Legitimate

Illegitimate

Males

Female

Males

Female

1994

664

341

323

449

215

230

218

110

104

1998

636

326

310

395

240

202

192

123

117

1999

621

319

302

380

242

195

185

124

117

2001

594

304

290

356

182

173

238

121

116

2004

639

328

311

370

269

189

180

138

131

2005

646

(*) Before 1939 figures relate to the number of births registered in the calendar year. For 1939 and subsequent years they relate to the number of births actually occurring in the rear. Source: Registrars General, vital Statistics Table 14.

(**) Source: ONS, Series FM1 no. 33 Summary Table 1.1Live birth England and Wales live births inside and out side of marriage. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/FM1_33/FM1_33.pdf

Two points have to be made regarding this situation. Firstly, it is agreed that having no father induces under-achievement and innumerable social and medical pathologies among children and mental instability in the mother. This has been documented since the 1960s. Secondly, periods where her new partner is not in work or where the mother has no man in her life results in the household income becoming so minimal as to pay no tax and in fact it becomes a net recipient of state benefits.

Cohabitation with transient fathers or father figures reduces the family unit to a ‘non-family’ unit, i.e. one parent with one or more child. Such units are not economically viable in a modern era where equal pay means that two incomes are required to achieve the ‘family wage’.[59]

Anything less than this arrangement equates to relative poverty and increased subsidies by the state.

As will be outlined later (Chp 22. Maori Families), state sponsored cohabiting comes with definable

“risk factors” in the form of aberrant behaviour among Maoris youth where suicide rates reach an astonishing 59 deaths per 100,000 – the highest in the world.

The Law Commission’s proposals will therefore increase the drift in and out of relative poverty and increase the number of suicides, both male and female. Arguably, as many women and their children will become stuck there as those that are able to move out of poverty by marriage (see Fig 6).

This will impact on the achievement and performance of any children involved. It will result in an increased demand for social housing, rented accommodation and more demands on NHS resources.

The recent huge immigration from Eastern Europe has resulted in information that would not normally have been made readily available (see Appendix G). An article in the London Evening Standard (29th Aug 2006), pin-pointed the income level at which families become cost neutral to the Exchequer. The figure was put at £27,000 pa. The article stated that:-

“Four out of five migrants take more from the British economy than they contribute, a report has warned today.
The analysis demolishes the Government’s key claim that migrants pay more in taxes than they take back in public services.

Only one in five immigrants is earning the £27,000 a year required to make a positive contribution over the course of their lifetime. It means that, if they settle here, they will cost the taxpayer money”

There is no way an average single mother household (SMH) working at either 16 hours a week (to maximise her benefit payments) or working full time with child care costs to pay can earn £27,000 either gross or net of tax. This confirms that each and every SMH is failing to make a positive contribution to the British economy and is, instead, a positive drain for 16 or more years – a situation the law commission proposals will only exaggerate.

9. Impact of Cohabitation

Great reluctance has been exhibited by all governments in recent decades concerning how much its social engineering experimentation was costing.

By pure chance the East European immigration debate has given rise to the figure of £27,000 as being the threshold at which income tax paid is not offset by subsidies (see Chap 8 and Appendix G).

This figure applies to single Polish migrant workers without children or dependents. We can therefore use it as the most conservative benchmark at which the earned income of SMHs – who have dependent children that Polish migrant workers don’t – at least begin to move away from being completely subsidised for basic essentials, e.g. housing, schooling, medical and dental care etc., by the state in the form of the tax-payer.

Tracking illegitimacy and cohabitation reveals substantial cost increases beginning in the 1970s. The cause for this is two fold. Firstly, changes implemented by the DHSS saw the abandonment of benefits paid based ‘on contributions’ made by the individual to an irresponsible ‘liberal’ one (and logically more expensive) where benefits were based on perceived ‘needs’.

Secondly, 1976 saw the publication of, among other things, the Finer Report. This reinforced the fledgling benefit changes for mothers and particularly for single never-married mothers (lone parents) entitled to ‘benefits’ but who until that time had not qualified for very many others handouts.

During the period from 1961 to 1995 the number of live births outside marriage, i.e. illegitimate,

increased dramatically (see Fig. 16). The major surge of 100,000 was after 1981. Every year since then the number of dependent children in SMH has increased by over 100,000 per annum.

Illegitimate births have increased and have displaced legitimate births so, confusingly, there are overall less birth now than in previous times.

Fig 16. Number of Live Births Outside Marriage, 1961 -1995

1976

Source: ONS Population Trends No 91. Table 10.

The graph at Fig 16 highlights the take-off point following Finer Report’s recommendations and the silent shift within the Benefit payment structure. Those increased costs to the Treasury, post-1976, are shown in Fig 17 (not adjusted for inflation), and appear to rise in sympathy with illegitimacy levels.

The most significant conclusions to be reached are the per capita costs, i.e. the cost of state subsidy per child, which increased as state intrusion increased and at a time when the trend in the overall number of new births was actually falling (Fig 15).

The graph below (Fig 17, Treasury Expenditure 1970 – 1997) represents money in millions of pounds (the sums are not discounted for inflation or falling purchasing power). We researched and published the data in 1998 using 1996 prices. A graph showing the cost after inflation can be found in Jill Kirby’s booklet “Price of Parenthood”, (page 2, pub’d by Centre for Policy Studies, 2005).

Nonetheless, when inflation is taken into account the trend line (re: the Jill Kirby booklet) though less acute than in Fig 17 is still strongly upward.

If live birth outside marriage and greater state subsidies can be seen to represent ‘evils’ on an arbitrary scale because they are socially divisive, socially expensive and economically not viable, we have to view as ‘good’ institutions such as marriage which do not suffer from such pathologies. However, the ‘good’ institution of marriage, as we can see from Fig. 8.above, appears to be in a relentless decline.

Fig 17. Treasury Expenditure 1970 – 1997 (£m)

(incorporating. FIS, Child Benefit & Family Credit). Source: ONS‘Population Trends’

1976

Prior to 1976 family payments were made to both fathers and mothers via cash payments and tax credits. After the Finer Report (1976) payments were made to mothers only. FIS (Family Income Supplement) was withdrawn in 1976 with the advent of other benefit payments, i.e. Child Benefit, Lone Parent Benefit and “premiums” etc available to both unwed & married couples

The relevance of the above (expenditure, Fig 17, and illegitimacy, Fig 16) is to be found in Prof. Lawrence Stone’s marriage and divorce trilogy using records unearthed at Lambeth Palace.[60]

He found that in Elizabethan rural England (circa 1590) the ratio between children whose fathers were not married to their mother to those where their fathers were married when the child was born, was a staggeringly tiny 4%. To put this into perspective the ration in e mid-1990s was circa 30% and over the 40% level in 2005.

At a time when social engineering had not been invented, this points to natural factors creating a natural level or ‘norm’.

In Puritan England, when it could be argued that a form of social engineering, i.e. morality, was in force, the rate dropped even further (giving the lie to claims by the state that it is powerless to alter events or humanbehaviour).

Indeed, it was still under two-and-a-half percent (2.5%) fifty years later in the 1720s.

Stone tells us that “it then took off”. There was, he writes, a ‘remarkable rise’, and a, ‘striking increase’ between the 1760s and the 1780s. This might lead the reader to think that a catastrophe or significant change had occurred but Stone’s ‘remarkable rise’ was merely an increase from 4.5% to 6% (technically, a 40% increase which he, as a scholar, must duly record). [61]

Commenting on the surge in cohabitation in more modern times, Prof. Norman Dennis believes it

would probably be more urgent and more important to usefully establish ‘what is happening to young men’ today than what level of cohabitation was common now or in past centuries.

The urgency and importance that he attaches to this question inevitably stems from the research he has undertaken over many years. His evidence also shows that the married man is the wealth creator in any society and its moral and welfare guardian – in its broadest meaning (a view shared by author and presidential advisor, George Gilder). We can see this impacting on, say, council housing estates where distinct levels of respect and crime levels are dictated not by poverty or income levels but by there being a preponderance or dearth of fathers’ resident with their families on those estates.

Given that statistics are now considerably more detailed and wide ranging than in previous centuries, the last thirty or forty years of the 20th century has seen a man’s sexual condition and opportunities transformed when compared with previous eras. Prof. Dennis argues that the choices available to a young man of casual sex, marriage, cohabitation, illegitimacy etc, have been greatly enhanced by the invention of highly effective forms of contraception, e.g. the Pill, and legalising abortion in 1967. [62]

Notwithstanding that the last two options are firmly a woman’s prerogative (and men have yet to achieve parity of Human Rights in that area) a young man no longer ‘has to’ marry a girl. Such an abundance of options means, conversely, that he is no longer ‘locked into’ the family nor into society in general. He is free to dip into or align with the ‘underclass’ whenever he wishes.

The Law Commission’s proposals serve only to cast young men further adrift from society and extend their liberty or license, depending on one’s view.

New research suggests that cohabitating is not a solution worth pursuing. New data now indicates that 75% of all family breakdowns affecting young children now involve unmarried parents. An estimated 88,000 children aged under 5 were affected by the separation of their unmarried parents in 2003. This dwarfs the (circa) 31,000 children under 5 whose married parents go through a divorce. [63]

CAFCASS and our present court system cannot cope with the present level of demand and it is,

therefore, likely that things will grind to a complete halt if they have to accommodate the additional demands from separating cohabitees and their children.

Inventions are, by definition unique events, and usually occur to one person, at a specific time and at a specific geographical location. Original creative ideas do not erupt en masse simultaneously on opposite sides of the globe.

But this is exactly what is happening with social policy legislation.[64] For what this means to the ordinary citizen we have only to look at the comparison made for us by the New Zealand government between their Matrimonial Property Act 1976 and their Relationships (Property) Bill proposals.[65]

Their idea of cohabitation or ‘Relationships of short duration’ is:-

For de facto relationships of less than 3 years’ duration, if the couple have a child or if one of the partners has made a substantial contribution to the relationship, the Court has discretion to divide the relationship property on the basis of contribution if not doing so would result in serious injustice.

Their idea of cohabitation property rights under the heading ‘When property rights take effect’ is:-

Couples have no rights under the de facto regime until they have lived in a de facto relationship for 3 years or more, except in very limited circumstances (see below).

New Zealand’s idea of ‘cohabitation’, ‘property’ and ‘choice’ again chimes with that of the Britain’s Law Commission, namely we will not be allowed to choose. ‘Contract Out’ is the only option given leaving, quote, “The partners’ able contract out of the de facto property regime” by affirmative action.

10. Soviet Experience

There are several dimensions to the concept of marriage that are often overlooked. Marriage is a subject most commentators take for granted as being relegated to a single-surfaced monolithic structure somewhere in the background.

But this would be to pass over its almost infinite benefits at every level. There is firstly the reason why it is found universally; why it is so beneficial to individuals; why is allows for group hegemony, why it permits nations and governments to be created; why it permits increases in the standard of living; and why it alone permits wealth creation and wealth accumulation (a topic never found in feminist essays).

However, there is a contrary range of views and these centre on the evil marriage represents and the obstacles marriage poses to the unfettered rights a state may give itself over the individual.

It is instructive to delve, albeit briefly, into who, why and what sort of regime seeks to compromise marriage as an institution particularly when feminism, whose roots are Marxist, daily accuses men of being the ever-present source of all female oppression.

When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917 they regarded the family (steeped as they were in Marxist / Engel’s dogma) as another ‘bourgeois’ institution.

They set out to destroy it and the very first Soviet Code on ‘Marriage, the Family, and Guardianship’

was passed in 1918. It abolished marriage, adoption and illegitimacy all humans, including children, belonged to the State. This triggered other socialist experimentation by government and lively debates on marriage, the family and sexual relations, inside and outside the USSR. By the 1920s women’s place in a socialist society took precedence over child care and rearing issues. [66]

The Leninist Soviet Code laid the foundations for the repressive Stalinist regime that was to follow.

The social historian Wendy Goldman shows the many ways in which ‘revolutionary’ laws were aimed at withering away marriage and how, ultimately, the state came into conflict with social reality and in turn how the state came into conflict with family power.

In a country whose population consisted overwhelmingly of barely literate peasants and whose economy had been devastated by war, revolution, and civil war. Perhaps they became disillusioned with the intellectualisation of their marriage customs for the flirtation was soon to end.

From that perspective, feminism is yesterday’s ideology.

Erudite discussions about ‘progressive’ policies and laws relating to marriage, divorce, alimony, illegitimacy, abortion, and de facto marital unions can only have left the instinctively conservative ordinary Russian populus totally unimpressed.

Wendy Goldman writes that for all their idealism, the law which included measures to “protect the weak and vulnerable” failed in the end to accept the fact that libertine laws (i.e. no marriage and only cohabitation with no-commitment) could not fail but favour men at the expense of women.

This view represents a very female position and a female view that has never thought or had to think too deeply about what men, real men, really want. While true in part, Goldman, as a woman, is oblivious to deeper masculine drivers that seek a settled, dependable lifestyle with one partner.

She sees only that effective safeguards for women were stymied by ideological commitments to build socialism in an underdeveloped country – she at no point reports on the unhappiness caused to men.

The economic collapse that followed the October Revolution, the mass starvations and the subsequent failure of ‘collectivisation’ should have ensured that change was inevitable. It was the adoption of ideology over common sense (style over content) that led in 1932 to 7 million deaths by starvation in the Ukraine alone. Why the Law Commission should choose style over content and want to adopt a failed ideology defeats explanation.

In a rare example of facing the facts, Stalin and the Communist Party’s were, by 1936, forced into a complete reversal on these family issues. The social experiment had lasted barely 20 years before

they were forced to restore the traditional family unit as the primary social institution. [67]The Central Executive Committee reversed the law in 1926 and by 1936 marriage, albeit in a form approved by the state, was re-installed by Stalin.[68]

What appears to have initiated the volte face was the extra burden placed on the state and its resources by abandoned women and homeless children. In a marriage-less society the needs from these two sectors simply overwhelmed Russia’s rudimentary social services.

11. Social Dynamics

Our society has developed much more sophisticated and expensive Social Services than the now defunct Soviet empire – yet we fail to learn from their disasters.

Arguably it has been shown that Social Services can be overwhelmed not only by immigration from Eastern Europe but in the number of child homicides that annually occur, e.g. Victoria Climbie.

It therefore follows that the same Social Services can be overwhelmed by designing additional services such as mediation as envisaged in the FLA (Family Law Act 1996) or today, in 2006, by proposing mediation and court services for thousands of separating cohabitees (particularly when it is a unworkable idea and unavailable to divorcing couples at present).

The tensions that developed in the early soviets between what had been family responsibilities versus libertarian principles with the weight of state involvement behind them, can be expected to be replicated in Britain should the Law Commission succeed with their proposals. The Russian experience was one of large numbers of women daily clogging up the courts with their complaints about their former husbands / partner’s disinclination, or inability, to pay alimony.

We have seen what this can lead to in Britain. By copying the Russian regime of CSA payments Britain has found that the majority of former husbands who do not pay simply cannot pay.

But perhaps the Law Commission believes that in our era and in our country that its incremental step approach will be more successful than the Soviet approach of dramatic overnight change.

We are confident that the Law Commission is wrong in this belief, but we are prepared to wait and see how soon we will be proven correct.

The Divorce Reform Act 1969 altered nothing until it became law in 1971. Thereafter the numbers marrying declined ( Fig 8 ) while the number of divorces, aided by Legal Aid changes, expanded rapidly throughout that decade (Fig 4). Many believe that free Legal Aid was the real catalyst for change and not divorce legislation per se .The Hardwicke reforms of 1753 had neither free Legal Aid nor the glittering prize of asset confiscation. They also did not interfere in child custody matters.

Despite the daily fabric of our lives being made up of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, fertility rates, suicide, abortion and social security costs, rarely are these social dynamics considered as one inter-related homogenous group. Invariably they are regarded as discrete sub-sets and kept in separate boxes.

Financial incentives (and disincentives), alterations to the law or the Benefit payment regime can work changes in social patterns. An impact in one area can have ramifications in others. For instance, the birth rate increased in 1946 following demobilisation and linking payment of Child Benefit based on the 2nd child’s birth (unlike Finer’s recommendations). The 1950s saw the numbers marrying

increase in all the English speaking world while the numbers divorcing fell close to pre-war levels.

Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book ‘The Population Bomb’ caught the imagination of a generation. He predicted, and many agreed, that populations would outstrip world resources and the world would face famines sometime between 1970 and 1985. In the 1970s birth rates tumbled. By 2005, the unintended consequences had caught up with us. Pensions, we were told, could no longer be guaranteed after 2030 or 2060 because the ratio of young people to old was falling [69] (projections using the National Insurance Fund suggest this is government misinformation).

If we look in the abortions ‘box’ we find there are 190,000 abortions per annum. If we add these to the live births box of 646,000 per annum they make a combined total of 836,000 births per annum which would equal the numbers born in the 1950s, e.g. 1949 and 1950 (see also Fig 15).

The ‘completed family size’ (CFS) today is 1.9 children per family. It used to be 2.1 children per family in the 1990s and 2.4 in the 1970s.This figures is important because the ratio dictates whether a nation barely survives (2.1 is the ‘replacement level’), or healthy (2.4), or expanding (2.7)

It should be recalled that cohabitees, as a sub-set, have never had as many children as married couples. Single unwed mothers have even less (1.6).Therefore, if we place our trust in cohabitation sustaining our population, GNP, standard of living, pensions and prosperity we are deliberately making it more difficult for ourselves.

We can however draw some comfort from knowing that we are not yet, for actuarial purposes, a stagnant society.Stagnant societies are generally associated with a declining population and exhibit 1% – 4% more girls than boys being born. [70] A normal society would usually exhibit 2% – 4% more boys being born. Fig 15, above, shows Britain still has a surplus of boy babies being born.

12. A Look at Ireland

The true social catastrophe that was Russia in the 1920s and 30s was not revealed to the world for many years. Yet reading the Irish Constitution, approved in the same era (1937) almost suggests a first hand knowledge and that lessons had been learnt.

Ireland can be said to represent a diametrically alternative view to the Soviet experiment and to the creeping British experience. The Irish Constitution puts it confidence not in politicians, an elite or an oligarchy but in ‘the family’ and the people.

There was a time in our recent past when Southern Ireland was popularly portrayed as a bucolic landpopulated with not a few eccentric characters. A look at Ireland’s Constitution shows what guarantees the state has given to its subjects in 1937 and how, by contrast, we in Britain have been systematically robbed of ours in the intervening years.

Britain has no written constitution but we are always assured and told to believe, whenever the issue arises publicly, that we are better off without one and that the state is honour bound to more highly respect our rights regarding the family, education and private property precisely because they are not written down. However, the last 40 years has shown these solemn promises and expectations have been repeatedly dashed.

Where, in Britain, do we have the same guarantees about the Family, Education, and Private Property that the Irish enjoy ? Reflect to what depths we have plumbed in Britain when, by way of résumé, the Irish Constitution of 1937 gave – and still gives today – the following cardinal guarantees. [71]

The Family – Article 41

1. 1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.

2. 1° In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

3.1° The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack.

Education – Article 42

1.The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.

Private Property – Article 43

1. 1° The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods.

2° The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property.

More and more empirical research confirms the long held analysis that one of the most important factors helping boys stay out of poverty and out of criminal trouble is having a father there and a father interested in their education – the same is true of girls, they are less likely to become single or teenage mothers (see footnote 28 & 29, plus Appendix E & F).

This cannot be achieved if agency upon agency is dedicated to detaching fathers from their families.

Lone parenthood and serial monogamy, i.e. cohabitation, is no substitute and the Law Commission should consider what damage was wrought by introducing the lax divorce laws in 1969 and what the damage will be after 2006 of their proposals (See Deech and Hogget chapter below).

‘Being there’ can only happen, can only succeed, when the state butts out of family matters.

Equally the neglect and unsocialised behaviour of feral children – increasingly acknowledged in every town centre and perennially in conflict with police forces – can only be exacerbated by the need for women to go out to work.

Note how the Irish Constitution at Article 41 (2.1), puts sufficient emphasis on the role of women as mothers to give them the support needed, e.g.“. . .the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.”

When it has been fashionable among Britain’s Guardianisti to float the idea of paying women to stay at home (while totally ignoring Benefits already paid for that role), Article 41 (2.2) of the Irish Constitution is already making it happen, albeit in a 1930s approach; “The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

Isn’t that exactly what the single mother, child benefit and associated allowances are seeking to achieve ? Isn’t that also exactly what every father – married or not – wants for his child’s mother ?

Earlier, in a separate chapter, the matter of private property and the rights flowing from property were discussed. The Irish Constitution is confident enough and feels sure enough that it is prepared to commit to never confiscating private property.

When at Article 43 (1.2) it states “The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property,” the Irish Civil War which ended in 1923 was still a raw memory. Intrinsically the war was between the traditional Republican cause of the “men of no property” versus those who owned property who did not want revolution but a return to mainstream politics, the rule of law and the ratifying of state treaties. [72]

Unlike the Irish Constitution, the Law Commission is unable to recognise ‘the Family’ as the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of Society – and the salary-payers of the office they hold.

13. Increased Social Instability

The late Baroness Young surrounded herself with some of the most perceptive researchers and talented lawyers in the country. Summarising their analysis she was well known for her formidable arguments in the House of Lords, particularly with regard the Family Law Act 1996.

In a debate 5 years ago she made several cardinal points that can be found in Hansard and are worth consideration by the Law Commission today (Column 1128, 17th Jan 2001, at 3.13 pm).

She believed that we should expect the law to help and support marriage, but it does not. All present day legislation seeks to disparage marriage and narrow the distinction between it and cohabiting.

She believed the fall in birth rates would have serious consequences for the nation’s future and would result in the need to increase the number of immigrants (in 2006 we can see how true this proved to be). A fall in birth rates collaterally brings a skills shortage in some areas. In the future there will not be enough young people to fill important vacancies (in 2006 we can also see this to be true).

Future pension provisions have made us aware just what difficulties a low birth rate can present and how as a society we cannot afford to allow it to continue unchanged.

Cohabiting cannot and should not be considered, as some would prefer, to be ‘marriage but without

the vows’, i.e. marriage by another name. Among young people, the ONS has consistently found, that over 70% have declared that they wanted to be married at some time in their lives. And while 70% young people interviewed in the 1990s had positive views about cohabiting, the facts show that only a third of co-habiting relationships last a reasonable time. In short, cohabiting couples are more likely to break up. [73]

Cohabitation brings with it other socially curious ill-effects, such as couples who cohabit before marriage are 50% more likely to divorce than those who do not.

The increase in cohabitation can be said to have been accompanied by a fall in the number of marriages and births but a higher divorce rate. All three adversely affect the proper development of children.[74] The pathologies cohabitation induces down have been itemised earlier.

Fashionable though it may be among, say, the Fabian cognoscenti to discuss cohabiting, most people still marry and 60% of marriages last a lifetime. This is something totally overlooked in the universal discourse (see Fig 6 and 7 above).

Also overlooked is the quantum change that has taken place in how society functions. For instance, in

1961 there were 32,000 divorces but by 1971, the first year of operation of the 1969 Divorce Reform Act, the number had risen to 110,000 (a 300% increase). Between 1988 and 1998 the average annual numbers divorcing was 45% greater at approx. 166,000 – though ONS derived numbers vary slightly according to which source is used (Fig 18, Fig 4 and Annex C).

The cost to the Treasury has already been mentioned in this text but in 1994 it was estimated that the cost of family breakdown was £5 billion in benefits and other expenditure.[75]Baroness Young spoke of a later report that had “put the cost at £16 billion, and it is not difficult to see how that figure was arrived at.”[76]

Fig 18. Divorces Made Absolute, 1937 to 2004England & Wales (selected years)

1938

1958

1968

1978

1988

1998

2002

2003

2004

Petition filed

9,970

25,584

54,036

162,450

182,804 *

165,870

177,223

173,240

167,193

Decrees nisi

7,621

23,456

47,959

151,533

154,788

144,231

170,966

167,992

166,042

Decrees absolute

60,692 *

22,195

45,036

142,726

152,139

141,543

147,465

154,284

153,689

[* This can only be a printing error by Jud Stat. Should be162.804 and 6,692 respectively ?] Source: Judicial Statistics Annual Report 2004, Table 5.5. http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm65/6565/6565.pdf

Most teachers will tell you that classroom discipline is more difficult today. It is not unusual to hear of four and five year-olds arriving at school “completely out of control.” One reason for that is the absence of supportive parents – which is code for having no father in that family. Another growing in recognition is the types of food ‘single mothers’ feed their children, pre-packaged, ready-to-eat prepared meals, all packed with ‘E. Numbers’ making their children “hyper”.

Those that guide divorce policy do not look in adjacent boxes. They inhabit a cosy departmental orbit and their remit precludes them from doing the simplest of sensible things. Thus the breakdown of discipline in schools is not their departmental concern. The civil servants in their ministry are only concerned with making divorce faster and cheaper.

If the birth rate collapses – tough; if pensions can’t be paid – that’s not their worry; if immigration has increased and is out of control – so what ? If GPs surgeries are flooded with new patients – it’s not their problem. If exams standards fall because 10 languages are spoken in class – that’s a problem for anther department; and if more houses have to built on green field sites – that’s not their department’s concern either.

They have discharged their departmental responsibilities; as asked they have made divorce faster and cheaper.

14. Gresham’s Law

Cohabiting used to be called a ‘trial marriage’ long before it was dubbed an ‘alternative lifestyle’ by

the politically influential Guardian columnists and the Islington glitterati. In wishing to popularise cohabitations by offering monetary incentives, i.e. compensation packages, is the Law Commission not in danger of resurrecting the past evils of customs such as Fleet marriages and the plague of ‘irregular’ or clandestine marriages that only the Act of 1753 erased ?

The Law Commission could be construed as proposing something that is contrary to public policy. Byaiding and abetting the defeat of the doctrine of public policy in its support of ‘chaperty’ – once described as ‘vile and odious’ – it jeopardises heads of policy by promises of compensation packages.

Gresham‘s Law applies specifically when there are two forms of commodity, usually money, in circulation which are forced by the application of legal tender to be respected as having the same face value in the marketplace. [77] It can also be argued that bad money would drive good money to a premium rather than driving it out of circulation. If Gresham’s Law applies to marital status this poses a dilemma for the Law Commission. On the one hand they may successfully promote cohabitation but on the other hand provoke a backlash.

For example, in higher education are the degrees so freely available in such large numbers from former polytechnics as valuable as Ivy League degrees or do they debase all degrees ?

The question for the Law Commission is whether Gresham’s Law of debasement applies to marriage via cohabitation ?

Historically it has not been unusual for a ‘set’ or clique to damage social customs. The Fabians and Bloomsbury Set, for instance, dabbled with ‘free love’, wife and husband swapping, but much of it ended in tears and great unhappiness (See the life and times of Bertrand Russell). [78]

The primary reason why we are discussing amending how we deal with cohabitation and its aftermath is apparently as a result of so many people today (both young and old) declining to marry but choosing to cohabit instead. But is that true – and if it is true, then why ?

Figures from ONS sources put the number of cohabiting households at no more than 11% of the total number of households (Fig 7).The figure for unwed mothers is 22% and in the millions, but how many of these have a steady cohabiting relationship ? Officially, the answer is ‘very few’. This is because revealing their cohabiting status to benefit officials would reduce the level of benefits they are entitled as single mothers. If the 11% figure is true, we are falling into the bad habit of legislating for minorities and never taking care of the majority – who pay the nation’s bills (Fig 17).

Couples who have decided, quite independently of the state, to cohabit do not need to be infantilised and patronised by the state which, it would appear, wants to concern itself with the welfare of cohabitees only when they separate. Why should, and how can, monetary compensation equate to one of the parties sensing they have ‘lost’ valuable years with nothing to show at the end ?

Many ordinary people will be surprised to learn that when distinguished persons are appointed to various committees or commissions they need not have appropriate knowledge or experience. A case in point is the Finer Report. Lord Justice Robin Dunn describes Morris Finer (then newly appointed to the Family Division) as a highly intelligent man with a social conscience and a ‘well intended man’.[79]Dunn writes that the report was ‘remarkable’ and a ‘well-researched document, which went far beyond the narrow limits of his terms of reference’. What does a family court judge comprehend outside divorce and custody awards ? Was Finer familiar with human frailties and understand the social dynamics and repercussions his proposals would bring ? [80]

He could have foreseen, had he looked overseas, how negative the impact of his proposals would prove in the long run and which, after his death, predictably nurtured others.

The upshot can be compared with the US “welfare dependency” problems outlined by George Gilder, in 1973, (and Senator Moynihan) with regard to ‘Aid to Families with Dependant Families’ (AFDC). [81]The intelligentsia in both countries had made detailed and sophisticated analysis of the situation. Their solution, ‘targeted’ State benefits at the most “in need” should have reduced poverty but instead increased it by driving out the male partner and thus lowering family incomes and promoting the double tragedy of 1. social disintegration and 2. accentuated class divisions.

15. History of Marriage

Whenever anyone discusses marriage they assume everyone knows what is meant. They think marriage is some impervious block of granite or a defiant cliff face unchanged by wind or waves since time immemorial.[82]

But that perception is not entirely true. It has never been immutably set in stone. It has undergone gentle evolution over the centuries. Marriage has not always been the definitive article we embrace today.

In modern times marriage and divorce in the 20th century can be viewed as three distinct but merging eras: the pre-1945 era, the 1945 -1969 period and the post-1969 reforms.

The pre-1945 era stretches back to the 16th century (1532). The 18th century saw Marriage Act 1753 (Lord Hardwicke) and unintentionally the first secular Divorce Act. [83]

By definition divorce and cohabitation are book-ends to marriage and so a summary of the more salient aspects of modern marriage, divorce and custody history would not go amiss at this juncture.

The history of marriage is also the history of divorce.

For centuries cohabitation, births outside marriage, lone parent families, and what today is called re-partnering or re-blended families, have co-existed with the stereotypical image of marriage. However, our present day obsession in seeking to normalise cohabitation, births outside marriage etc, etc, simply because they have occurred in the past, is to seriously distort the factors at work.

The institution and attendant procedures we call marriage has not been an everlasting feature of British history. In fact, the late-medieval period presented many problems for marriages across most of Catholic Europe.

Such was the pernicious social problem of something called ‘clandestine marriages’ that the Church was forced to convene the Council of Trent held between 1545 and 1563. [84]

At the 24th session the Council of Trent decreed thatthe validity of marriages were dependent upon its being performed before a priest and two witnesses. A pre-condition that is valid to this day. The importance of what is detailed below pivots on the session failing to agree that an ‘innocent party’ could marry again while the other party to the marriage was still alive.

Prior to the Council of Trent’s decree heterosexual relationships between men and women, or espousals, fell into two broad categories. One related to a future date and the second to the present situation.

i.sponsalia per verba de futuro (at a future date)

ii.sponsalia per verba de praesenti

The first, ‘sponsalia per verba de futuro’, was a solemn engagement in which the contracting parties promised each other to become man and wife at some future date (a status that could be compared with an ‘engagement’). This change of status was either witnessed or publicised by the couple.

The second ‘sponsalia per verba de praesenti’, involved a ceremony, in which words using the present tense were spoken. The two parties became man and wife at the moment of making their promises’ [85]

However, sometimes it was enough that sexual intercourse had taken place for the immediate community to view the union as having created ‘husband and wife’ status (thus moving the status from ‘de futuro’ to ‘de praesenti’). Sometimes it was simply the statement in front of witnesses that the women took the man and the man took the woman as spouse (once a common procedure in Scotland). [86]

What has made a person publicly a ‘married person’ has therefore varied slightly but significantly from time to time.

Cohabitation, on the other hand, is the replacement of any public announcement of mutual fidelity and public obligations. It is neither futuro nor praesenti.

Any obligations and relationships of trust are promises privately undertaken between the two parties and need not be to the exclusion of all other parties and can be privately abandoned at any time.

It follows that the state has no business interfering in private arrangements and for the Law Commission to now argue that it does, contradicts its former utterances with regard ‘Breach of Promise’ actions (cf. not in the public interest, undermines marriage, gold diggers charter, etc, all quoted by parliamentarians and the Law Commission (see below and Appendix I).

Inevitably, the uncertainty inherent in future promises led to misinterpretations by one party of what the other party might have meant by casual remarks taken literally by the other party, or good intention honestly made rendered impossible by a change of circumstance. However, there were two situations where the law made the presumption of de facto marriage or intended wedlock – sexual intercourse and ‘Breach of Promise’. [87]

It was not uncommon in the 19th and 20th centuries when a planned marriage (an implicit contract) was called off for the female to launch a suit seeking monetary compensation (breach of promise). This was deemed so base an action and so contrary to ‘public policy’ that the Law Commission abolished it in1969.

Addendum: “ … Bringing back breach of promise is also a green light to every gold-digger out there. All she has to do is get a man to ask for her hand, accept, and then deliberately behave so appallingly badly that he’s forced to dump her. Then she sues him for every penny. A few women might perhaps make a killing this way, but it would sure as heck screw things up for the rest of us.

Many would-be brides who have spent years tenderly and painstakingly coaxing a jittery bloke down the aisle will inwardly howl at this news, since many jittery blokes could now be forgiven for wondering, what’s the point of getting too serious with any woman?

Whether they go through a fully fledged divorce or a mere broken engagement, the penalty is the same – they’ll still be forced to cough up serious amounts of dosh.

-“Bringing back breach of promise won’t help togetherness”, by Fiona McCade, The Scotsman,29 July 2008

Where the parties had engaged in carnal knowledge with one another while only promised to one another in the future (sponsalia per verba de futuro), the act of sexual intercourse transformed the parties and the relationship into one of spouses. Their union was ‘unwitnessed’ but there was another form of unwitnessed union called an “irregular marriage. ‘Irregular marriages’ was a status also achieved by phony ceremonies. It was this latter condition that for centuries was to cause havoc with English law and the courts (see Chap 18).

Marriage and Inheritance

Matrimonial courts were, from the 17th to the 19th century, kept busy not by divorce per se but by parties seeking to prove, i.e. verify, whether a valid marriage had taken place or not. (Appendix I & J). Irregular marriages could leave widows and orphans penniless even though the proper procedures had been followed. (Appendix J and K, re: Lord Howell’s ruling).

Disinheritance was accomplished by an interloper claiming she was the ‘common-law’ of the deceased by an earlier ‘marriage’ citing the sponsalia per verba de praesenti or futuro basis or indeed the originating from Scotland which ignored normal matrimonial conventions.

Therefore, to seek to compensate female cohabitees after separation threatens to turn back the clock and re-embrace a regime that is known to be a ‘busted flush’. If this is the path the Law Commission wishes to follow then it would not be unreasonable to expect the crime of Criminal Conversations to re-surface and for cuckolded husbands to be paid financial compensation by their wife’s adulterer ?

(Appendix J 1).

Marriage Act 1753

The form of marriage we now take for granted and which is common throughout the country did not materialise until Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753. In that year an act of parliament was passed that gave a standard form to ecclesiastical marriages with pre-conditions which made irregular marriage easier to define. In England & Wales what might casually be called ‘common-law’ marriages or wives have never had any legal status – never.

The Marriage Act 1753 strictly bound inheritance and legitimacy with officially registered marriage. A great deal of litigation disappeared almost overnight as widowed spouses could inherit unchallenged and unencumbered.

The 19th century brought the first divorce Act in 1857 (Matrimonial Causes Act 1857), bigamy and rape laws, the Married Women’s Property Acts[88] and a wholesale judicial and court reform. [89]

The new structure created by Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act (1753) required the publishing of banns, a marriage licence, a residence test, a formal marriage ceremony to be held in public, conducted in a Church, in the presence of a priest, and only at specific times of the day. [90]

The purpose of the Act was to prevent clandestine marriages, “Fleet” marriages and other fraudulent or ‘irregular’ marriages’. [91]It was limited to marriages in England and Wales and did not apply to Quakers and Jews (it also excluded Scotland and Ireland). Being limited geographically it inadvertently gave rise to what is today referred to ‘common-law’ marriages and wives is former Empire and commonwealth nations e.g. Canada, USA.

In the post-1857 era divorces could only be heard in London. The divorcing husband would have to bear the legal costs of not only his own legal team but also his wife’s defence team and would have to pay all witnesses costs and their lodgings. Divorce or separation was not something undertaken lightly. Divorce was not for the poor (and it was not intended to be so).

Even today, in the post-1969 era, divorce is so structured that the husband usually has to pay his own legal costs and his wives through the court awarding of the house to her and any children.

The Jane Griffiths view of history

Before Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, people’s relationships could be recognised in several different ways. In a baffling and cringe-inducing statement Ms. Jane Griffiths, MP is in the parliamentary record (Hansard) as honestly believing that that one of the most widely known marriage practices was ‘jumping the broomstick’. (Hansard Column 322, Oct 24th 2001). [92]

In this marriage ceremony a couple would allegedly jump over a broom that was leant against their front door, thereby gaining certain legal rights and responsibilities.

Undeterred by this rush of blood, she continued by asserting that divorce in those days was also much easier because the relationship was undone by jumping back over the broom in the presence of witnesses.

Before Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act 1753, people’s relationships could be recognised in several different ways, which attracted some legal and social consequences. One of the most widely known practices was jumping the broomstick. A couple jumped over a broom that was leant against their front door, thereby gaining certain legal rights and responsibilities. Divorce was certainly easier in those days because the relationship was undone by jumping back over the broom in the presence of witnesses. There is no indication of the means used to resolve arguments over the distribution of assets held in common, although probably there were no assets. “

– Jane Griffiths MP (Lab. Reading, East), House Commons Debate, 24 Oct 2001, vol 373 cc 320-7

She then remarks in materialistic mode that there appears to be no hint as to the methods used to distribute assets but concedes that probably there were none. (Appendix J 2).

We are not enlightened as to the status if only one party jumps back. Jane Griffithsdoes not elaborate on whether couples had to jump back together, jump singly backwards to the side they originally started from, or turn around and face the way they first jumped from.

Jumping thebroomstick in Britain (if it ever existed) is now probably confined to pagan wedding ceremonies that have latterly been de-criminalised and thus the authenticity and pedigree of the ‘resurrected’ ceremonies cannot be verified. [93] (Appendix K).

Ecclesiastical court records do not contain assertions of any party jumping forward or back as evidence of a marriage.

References to jumping the broom stem from Afro-American folklore which appear to have a Ghanaian ancestry where the phrase denotes a wedding ceremony. Perhaps it then entered into Negro slave customs.

Over and again one finds that in the rush to validate an assertion or authenticate Theory X or Theory Y radical feminist grasp at straws only to see their improper citations become their undoing.The contributions of Jane Griffiths MP fall into that category. She fails to explain why couples would want to jump back over the broom given that a). the average life expectancy of a man in the 17th and 18th century was short, b). the age at which he might contemplate marriage and c). the seriousness with which the second was undertaken.

Ms. Griffiths appears to assume everyone had a standard of living comparable to that found in the books ofJane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, (pub. 1813). Anyone with a grasp of history would realise that outside the wealthiest 5% of society, the amount of assets in any matrimonial home was minimal. What would they be arguing over ? Probably no more than a washing dolly, a few pewter plates two chairs and one table ?

For an alternative answer Ms. Jane Griffiths, MP should look at ‘wife sales’. Though frowned upon by ‘polite society’ they are recorded in local sources. Here the dissatisfied husband took his wife to market and she was sold no differently than cattle or personal property (‘Roads to Divorce’, Stone L).

Contained within the themes of this paper is the unavoidable truth that ‘The story of fatherlessness is the story of all the various forms of lone parenting’. By implication cohabiting is the sandwich filling between two bread slices, one is the singleton (including cohabiting and SMH) and the other marriage and parenthood.

For many years the focus of public policy has been directed toward SMHs and the children of SMHs. The inference being that children of SMH have by some mechanism faired less well in their life chances than children of two parent families. Research studies have lead to a better understanding of those mechanisms and to how cohabitation is more closely related to SMH than married couples in terms of child ‘outcomes’.

We are disappointed that the Law Commission should, in spite of this, focus only on the monetary

rewards for the mother when no amount of money can make up for the crippled life chances for children’s that such a dismissive and thoughtless policy encourages. It is surely sufficient that ‘family’ courts are active players in the ‘orphaning’ of 50% of the 120,000 children they deal with annually without adding even more children to the pyre ?

For as long as custody remains an immutable right for the female in any heterosexual union, and a de facto signal to plunder, marriage will continue to decline and divorce will appear to increase as a proportion (ipso facto, if marriage were made attractive the divorce rate would apparently fall).

What the Law Commission is proposing has the whiff of the mediaeval about it. From the earliest written records (ecclesiastical sources) we find it not uncommon for a divorcing man to agree to settle around 30% of his wealth on a former wife. An ex-wife’s protection went further and upon his death an amount called a ‘dowager’ could be set aside from his estate regardless of his widow’s needs.

In the 20th century we have unstitched that binding and are reaping the consequences. We have to re-learn that the health of marriage hinges on divorce and that healthy divorce numbers hinge on a healthy marriage environment. The penalties for out-of-wedlock birth have been eradicate, no longer is illegitimacy a bar to inheritance, and by parental choice children can even be ‘legitimised’ by a subsequent marriage.

But downstream of divorce, inheritance can no longer be guaranteed. Following the use courts make of the Land Charges Act 1972 et al we are returned to the topsy-turvy world of inheritance under irregular marriages. Today, the power of the parent is terminated by the state who alone decides who inherits what.

  • No one knows the value houses or the extent of stocks and shares sold or transferred to women in the last 30 years by Family Courts to pay for a wife’s Legal Aid bill.
  • We do no know the value of the charges held in favour of the Law Society.
  • Rarely do we consider the distress caused by the compulsory sale of the former matrimonial home when the children reach their majority.

Whereas a man might once have expected to lose one third of his wealth upon divorce he now loses between 50% and 90%.This renders a second marriage – the purpose of the 1969 Act – impossible. [94]

The prime movers for divorce and separation petitions are women (80%) who because of the way the funding is structured rarely have to pay cash. As a result, divorce and separations are now undertaken less seriously.

Prior to 1857, a divorce would be granted only when both families agreed terms and where the court was satisfied the financial provisions were just and agreeable to both parties. In fact mutual agreement was fundamental to the systems success and both parties used this factor as leverage to gain better settlements. Divorce has always been designed to exclude field hands and the urban poor for obvious reasons (wardens found them to be a burden on ‘the parish’).

Throughout the 16th to 18th centuries Consistory Courts granted relatively inexpensive “separations from bed and board” to couples who could not get along (roughly comparable to today’s Separation order). Rarely was the right to re-marry granted and rarely was either spouse evicted from the home, which in some, or many, cases must have added to long-term family stability and in other been a source of friction.

We have to assume in the absence of contrary evidence, that the majority of these separations were by common consent (later termed collusion) and were mutually beneficial for no evidence exists to show a great increase over the decades.

By far the busiest Consistory Court of the period was London which supplied between 25% to 50% of cases to the Court of Arches in the period 1700 and 1810 ( see ‘Roads to Divorce’, and Geoffrey Clarke, Index of Cases in the Records of the Court of Arches at Lambeth Palace 1610 -1913, British Record Society. 1972). In 1700 barely 200 cases were dealt with by the Court of Arches.

Records show that for the years 1700 – 1857 there were only 338 divorces by act of Parliamentary Petition, with 322 Acts granted (England at that time had a population of approx 6.4 million).

After 1857 divorce became ‘fault’ driven and we were set on a course that sadly, many of us know too well. In an interesting aside, Prof. Stone points out that “fault” is a tort of trespass, not a breach of contract (cf see ‘breach of promise’ above).

From 1861 – 1911 the number of successful divorces rose from 141 to 801. Although a great increase – 5 fold – it must be contrasted against the population explosion measured in millions.

It should also be put in context with the number of ‘maintenance and separation’ orders for the ‘lower orders’ which, by 1899, were being processed in Magistrates’ courts at the rate of 14,000 pa (see 1912 Royal Commission)

When families were commonly comprised of 3 or 4 children this, it could be argued, represented around 55,000 children who experienced fatherlessness for one reason or another. [95]

Post 1945

Stepping into the 20th century it was not until 1937 and the crisis surrounding Edward VII and Mrs. Simpson that new divorce measures were embarked upon. The MP and writer A.P. Taylor introduced a Private Members Bill to extend the grounds for divorce to include, insanity, epilepsy, mental defect,mental illness of a certain degree, venereal disease and desertion. The 1937 changes were followed by a small surge, or temporary blip, in the numbers divorcing but the numbers soon fell back to close to their previous level (see Annex D, Tables 2, 3 & 4).

The increase in divorce during and immediately after the war is largely due to a little known policy within the Armed Services of arranging divorces as quickly as possible and by-passing the civil courts. Fig 19, below, shows the sudden spike in divorces starting 1in 1946 and ending in 1950.

It was considered to be ‘bad for moral’ if matrimonial strife was allowed to linger. After the war, the numbers of marriages increased but so too did divorce. ‘Special measures’ were introduced for civilian divorce courts to handle the numbers caused by the disruptive effects on wives and husbands of 6 years apart (aka ‘Quickies’). By 1951 the emergency ‘special measures’ had been revoked and divorce declined for the next 10 years, only to begin increasing gently after 1961 (Fig 19).

In the pre-1945 and the pre-1969 era the divorce laws were essentially unchanged Both the defending party and Court had wide powers to thwart any attempt by the plaintiff to obtain a divorce against the wishes of the other party (the 1969 Act swept away these “hardship” or financial factors). A divorce could only be granted if it could be shown to the courts satisfaction that the ex-wife would not become a ‘burden on the state’ (a criterion found in Consistory Courts). This meant that sufficient financial provision was made after agreement was reached between wife and husband.

When Legal Aid was made more widely available to the less well off in 1948, i.e. women and the working classes, divorce cases were no longer confined to moneyed people. The proportion of divorce petitions supported by Legal Aid very soon shot up from 20% to over 50%. It is this linkage – between rates of divorce and legal aid – that in the subsequent post war decades was used to heavily influence the number of divorces.

Fig 19Divorce Rates per 1,000 Population 1889 – 2000 (England & Wales)

By the mid 1950s the whole divorce procedure had become artificial and unreal. Each case took ten to fifteen minutes and the judge was expected to sit quietly, ask no questions, turn a blind eye to yet another man caught in the bedroom of a Brighton hotel with a ‘another women’ and grant a decree (see Morton Report, 1956).

Usually one or both spouses had another partner in the background (re: Robin Dunn). Financial terms which had to be agreed were therefore generally less onerous than they were in the post-1969 era.

Custody was not a key factor in the settlement. Custody had not then become the gateway to lucrative ‘passport’ state benefits. Children were not perceived as ammunition and therefore disruption to children was more limited and less stressful than the post-1969 environment proved to be.

The widespread perception that divorce somehow rose inexorably or uncontrollably following World War II, is wholly wrong. This misconception can be found even among those who claim to specialise in the subject.

Professor Carol Smart, Director of the Centre for Research on Family, Kinship & Childhood, Leeds University, is someone who writes widely on related matters. In her paper “Divorce in England 1950 – 2000: A Moral Tale ?” she writes the “….Rates of divorce have increased considerably between 1950 and 2000, although this trend had started rising before 1950.” [96] This glosses over the truth and gives a misleading impression (see graphs Annex D, Tables 2 – 4).

To justify her contention Smart refers to the “peak of 40,000” divorces in the late 1940s as being ‘considerably higher’ than the pre-war figures which were 5,097 between 1931 and 1940.

Figures produced by the ONS put the peak not at 40,000 but at 60,000 (in 1947).

The only obvious way to arrive at a figure close to 5,097 is to “average” the yearly totals for the 10 years from 1931 to 1940 but this serves only to blur the picture. A legal reform in 1937 meant that the very low pre-war levels jumped to 9,000 in 1938.

Following the 1937 divorce reforms there followed in very short order, the declaration of war, mobilisation, rationing, prosecuting a world war, and then the end of the war. She is therefore comparing very different and dissimilar scenarios:

1). divorce was ‘difficult’ in the 1930s and it was peacetime

2). during wartime conditions military divorce procedures were made fast and easy but still divorce numbers were low

3). in the immediate post-war period legislation and legal aid changes made civilian divorce procedures easier which encouraged divorce numbers to rise. [97]

In the pre-1945 and post-1945 era custody cases were dealt with in a relatively perfunctorily manner usually by judges who had not heard the main divorce suit. This continued into the early 1960s. It was not an uncommon practice at the divorce hearings for the children to be temporarily made Wards of Court if it involved an adulterous wife. If the divorced wife was living with another man it was considered that the children would ‘be in moral danger, at least until she remarried.

An income level to provide a good standard of living for the child usually favoured father custody but it was not uncommon, because of work commitments, for him to arrange for his ex-wife to have daily ‘care and control’.

‘Moral relativism’ had truly arrived in the decade prior to 1969 when a high court judge, Lord Justice Robin Dunn, could write that Judges ‘were supposed to uphold the concept of “the sanctity of marriage”, a phrase frequently used but one he never wholly understood in his entire career’.

Undoubtedly, the divorce system prior to 1969 had glaring disadvantages but, in the opinion of one former High Court judge ‘it rarely created the same degree of outrage and hostility that its successor engendered’.[98] Before we adopt the Law Commission’s proposals we must be sure we are not doubly the amount of ‘outrage and hostility’ by extending beggar-thy-neighbour regime to cohabiting couples.

What was lost in the rush to rationalise and remove the deceit and deception from divorce proceedings (termed collusion) was the realisation that the much condemned ‘hypocrisy’ served to oil the rusty cogs of society and too much honesty meant no more oil and a seizing of the wheels.

It is estimated that over 90% of divorces in the pre-1969 era were actually consensual and, therefore,undefended. Despite the safeguard and obvious merit mentioned earlier of allowing the other spouse (defendant) to halt the petition – under the hardship rule – they often choose not to – which is very significant. The moderating influence of the system, where adjustments are made for the inequalities of the parties, can be seen in the years immediately following 1950 when the trend took on a downward complexion.

Lord Justice Ormrod, who can be said to have shaped post-1969 divorce laws, had obsolescent 19th century views regarding divorce and men as carers of children He and the then Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Denning (who had married a divorced woman) increasingly nullified legislation by their liberal interpretations of the law (sometimes by the fig leaf of discretion, sometimes by flatly ‘re-interpreting’ the law).

By creating ‘beneficial interest’ and re-interpreting the new land registration law they ensured that property titles could be transferred on the pretence of providing a home for the former wife and any children of the union.

The ‘campesino’ of today is an excellent example of the Law Commission’s policy in action. The ‘campesino’ is made landless by the hacienda owner and then dependent on. He is obliged to work for a low salary or no pay at all, and what he does earn (or produce) may at the end of the year have to be turned over to the owner at a lower than market price.

Society condemns the third world for allowing such social practices yet it is condoned everyday in Britain’s family courts.

16. Breach of Promise

It is clear from the Law Commission’s early work that it valued the institution of marriage and wished

to sort out anomalies that had carried over from the 18th and 19th century. In this vein it recommended the abolition of theage old remedy of ‘Breach of Promise’ (Appendix I and Appendix K).

An action for Breach of Promise was an action using Tort and not as one might expect ‘contract’. It has to be recalled that the reasoning behind this tort was based on the presumption that a female’s ultimate ambition was to marry and bring up children (and presumably her affections had been trampled upon) and that her future prospects of marriage would be damaged.

Though this notion is publicly scoffed at today it essentially still remains every woman’s ambition. [99] In every epoch prior to our own, it was assumed that if a woman surrendered her virginity it was further assumed that she would not have done so except on the express promise of marriage.

If the man subsequently reneged on his promise, i.e. refused to marry her, then her chances offinding another suitable man willing to marry her were considered reduced.

In practical terms the actual loss of virginity was not required or its proof demanded. It was enough that on her testimony alone monetary compensation was paid by the man to her. In the mid 20th century when £1,000 pa was considered a good industrial wage, settlements for breach promise could exceed this. What made this more bizarre was its blatantly sexist premise – an embrace to which the Law Commission is unwittingly returning via its 2006 cohabitation compensation proposals. [100]

Men could not sue for breach of promise unless an actual dowry of money or property had changed hands. It was accepted by the standards of the day that ‘it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind’ – sometimes several times in one day. This view of women was so unremarkable and normal that it has became the basis of many laws and was reflected in all types of courts hearings. This lopsided bias in favour of women continues to this day but is called ‘equality’.

During the first half of the 20th century social mores in the English speaking world (where common law predominated) led to an intrinsic reluctance by the state to intervene in cases of personal relationships except where the welfare of children or actual violence was involved. The post-1969 years have seen a volte face inside the Law Commission. From a position of supporting marriage they have become the lead agitators in its dismemberment. (See Appendix I, re: ‘Chapter 2a’).

Lord Coleraine speaking in the Family Law Bill debate (Hansard, 20 Nov 1995: Column 196), said;

There is an intellectual argument abroad which has been running fast since the 1960s. It is attractive to those who were first seduced by and then damaged by the ideas that were then fashionable. They deny the usefulness and necessity of civil marriage. They portray marriage as unfairly and unreasonably discriminating against those who choose only informal ties or perhaps no ties at all with the persons with whom they have chosen to live or with whom they may have parented children.”

“…… an average couple contemplating marriage ……. expects the marriage to be lasting, and is accustomed to look to the state to provide some support for it. ……With such support there can, from the outset, be better confidence in the marriage and each other between the marriage partners. Without it, civil marriage will be, and will be perceived to be, no more than the temporary licensing of cohabitation on an ongoing basis. Such a cheap utility version of marriage can hardly command more than minimal respect. There will be less and less inclination to bother to enter into such a watered down minimal union.”

The architect of that ‘cheap utility’ and slashing of state support for marriage referred to by Lord Coleraine was no lesser person than the Law Commissioner charged with the responsibility for family affairs – one Brenda Hoggett, known today by her other name Lady Justice Hale.

Surely an instance of the fox being put in charge of the hen house.

17. Common Law Wife

The phrase ‘common law wife’ routinely appears in books and newspaper articles, but lawyers insist that the status of’ common law wife’ does not exist in English law.

The reason for the confusion is probably because much of our news and current affairs is influenced by or stems from America and our lives are affected not least by imported US films and legislation.

The Marriage Act of 1753 introduced by Lord Hardwicke was an English piece of legislation and so completely by-passed the rebellious colonialists in North America (and Canada and all other colonies, see Appendix J and Appendix K). After their successful war of independence, in 1776, the core of their law remained English common law (a similar situation exists in Israel where the common law co-exists from the former Palestine mandate).

Some American authors state that prior to that date, 1776, there was no single common law for marriage in England, overlooking as they must, the 1753 Act[101]and the Council of Trent.

The English method of entering into an informal marriage, known as “sponsalia per verba de paesenti”, (see above) was adopted in New York, circa 1776. The legal definition of a common-law marriage in New York is/was an agreement, in words of the present tense, made by parties competent to marry, to take one another as husband and wife. As such, common-law marriages were generally unlicensed.

Cohabitation, by repute, ‘holding out’, etc were generally regarded as partial evidence which were more or less cogent enough to show that such an agreement, in fact, was made, but they were not a substitute for or the equivalent to, an actual written agreement. (Appendix J and Appendix K).

The legal status of Common-law marriages (and of common-law wives ?) was abolished in New York on April 29th 1933, as the result of an amendment to Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law. Any common-law marriage contracted prior to that date (1933) and at a time when such marriages were valid in New York, were regarded as equally valid as ceremonial marriages. [102] Is this the evolution the Law Commission has in the back of its mind ?

The federal nature of the USA results in different states, such as, for instance, South Carolina, Iowa, or Ohio, having similar but variations of the laws found in New York.

Retuning to the present and Britain, we are not convinced that the Law Commission has fully recognised the gravity of awards made in the past when instances of ‘irregular marriage’ or multi-cohabiting have resulted in court action. The courtroom dramas have been fought out by women seeking exemplary damages on the whole of the estate of the deceased.

Before dealing with the practical difficulties of inheritance rights that the Commission proposals for cohabitation might induce, we ought to look at problems faced in the past by a similar laisser-faire approach.

As recently as 1954 one case Shaw v Shaw (2 Q.B. 429) brought together the strands of public policy, irregular marriage, bigamy, cohabitiat0on and inheritance. A female plaintiff successfully claimed for breach of promise against the estate of her bigamous husband and was given more than half the estate (see also “dowager” share). The 2nd surviving wife was entitled to less than half her expectations.

Human nature is set to be allowed to behave in the above manner but on a much grander scale. In turn the legal actions brought by one woman will leave one or more other women very disappointed and very poor.

18. Irregular Marriages

Lord Gorell pointed out in the House of Lords (14th July, 1909), that separations were being obtained instead of divorces and that this was having a bad effect on the moral standards of the working classes. The implication was that though not technically divorced these ‘separatees’ were then re-establishing their married status and thus committing bigamy or were ‘living-in-sin’.

Politicians were shocked at the possible collapse of morals among the lower orders and so a Royal Commission was set up in 1912.

The Royal Commission arising from Lord Gorrel’s concerns gives us an insight into how society really ticked away from the chattering classes and free of the influences of literary and post-colonial historical reassessments.

In a post-Victorian and a post-Dickensian era [103]the 1912. Royal Commission provides markers of change for how many couples were not able to obtain a divorce, i.e. could not afford it, and reveals the scale of cohabiting and living bigamously. Such was the degree of stigma that we should not think of it as endemic. From L. Stone’s and N. Dennis’ separate research work we can surmise a comparatively low level.

As a social document the 1912 Royal Commission provides a bridge to earlier Commissions, namely the Royal Commission of 1832 and the one of 1852. All 3 investigated adjacent social issues.

The Royal Commission of 1832 was set up to reform the Poor Laws that were deemed no longer relevant to 19th century society. The Commissioners found that employers could keep wages artificially low, knowing that they would be subsidised by the Poor Law. As a result family living standards, a precursor to marriage rates, were adversely affected.

  • From 1889 first-time-marriages rose steadily peaking at 340,000 pa. in 1970
  • From 1842 the numbers of ‘live births’ has climbed annually

The arguments today surrounding benefit dependency was also common currency in 1832. It was argued then that the old relief system handed out aid regardless of the merit of the applicant and that larger families received more relief and this encouraged larger families that could not support themselves (for ‘parish’ relief in 1832, read Family Credits in 2006). Women with illegitimate children in the 1800s could also obtain relief, which the Commissioners believed encouraged immorality and children to be born out of wedlock.

The second of the Royal Commission (1852-3) looked at the distress caused by the workings of the marriage, inheritance and divorce laws. Most notable for this text was its findings on “Irregular Marriages” first mentioned earlier in Chap 14 and 15.

Much of the misery these irregular marriages caused stemmed from marriage practices in Scotland that wrecked the legitimate expectations of widows and which plunged her and her children into poverty.

The inheritance rights of widows and families in England could be totally wiped out if, on her husbandsdeath, it could be shown that he had a previous wife from a previous verbal marriage (e.g. in Scotland). This fate was also true of widowed wives in Wales and Ireland.

Marriages in England, Wales and Ireland all required a bona fide priest to be in attendance. Marriages in Scotland, however, did not require a priest, just a form of words between consenting adults.

This put Scotland on a collision course with Europe and with English customs and law in particular, and was exacerbated by the economic expansion.

The early 1700 saw the expansion of trade, the introduction of machine-based manufacturing colonialisation and the Act of Union (1706). The fledgling Industrial Revolution and subsequent industrial boom of the 1800s sucked in many workers migrate from an impoverished Scotland into a wealthier England.

Some men (and women) spent so many years in England that they effectively started new lives.

Only upon his demise did wives learn of the existence of their husband’s former / earlier marriage to another woman. The prospect of a comfortable old age was snatched from them. Their future years would be transformed into a series of bankrupting litigations over inheritance with the certainty of enforced poverty (Shaw v Shaw, 1954).

Where no formal marriage existed, and DNA yet to be invented, widows had to show that any children had been cared / funded by her husband during his lifetime in order to gain any benefit from his estate (Appendix J).

Other than direct inheritance (upon death), marriage was and remains the single most important method for property to be transmitted and for this reason “clandestine” marriages have always taken place. Irregular marriages include ‘clandestine’, secret, and enforced marriages.

To add a veneer of authenticity to these disreputable proceedings (and possibly overcome any lingering doubt that the marriage was ‘legal’ and permanent, proceedings were conducted using the ritual of the Book of Common Prayer, for a fee, by a clergyman of questionable scruples.

Most importantly, the advantage of such a ceremony, though under duress and illegal, was that the marriage was nonetheless recognised as legally binding having full property rights in ecclesiastical and common law (Appendix J).

Take, for instance, the case of headstrong Kitty Mellish, a giddy young thing who knew nothing of inheritance law but who knew that being under 21 she required her parents consent to marry and that it would be refused. Fearing parental opposition to their romantic suitor young men and women would marry in ‘secret’. An heir or heiress was regarded as credit cards are in the 21st century and naturally attracted the criminal element who kidnapped them for gain or deceptively ‘fell in love’ with them to gain control of the inheritance.

By the 1730s public concern was being expressed at the number of ‘clandestine marriage’, the system’s impotency reflected in complaints in the London newspapers about the fraudulent seduction of heirs and heiresses. [104]Parents with daughters felt especially vulnerable to kidnap, blackmail or if forcibly married her subsequent abandonment and impoverishment by her gold-digging ‘husband’.

Ecclesiastical, common and equity law, all had control over some aspect of marriage. Medieval canon law determined the rules of marriage (they were revised in the Canons of 1604) and enforced by the church courts. The criminal courts could be involved if either party chose to sue the other for a statutory offence such as bigamy. Equity law had jurisdiction over trust deeds and became involved in marriage where there was litigation concerning marriage settlements and the enforcement of trust deeds.

It was possible for clandestine marriages to set one court against another. Even supposing thee difficulties were overcome and the marriage annulled the victim’s family then faced the troubling question of their daughter’s future marriagability prospects.

In this atmosphere the divorce courts of the time found that their workload was overwhelmingly one of deciding which marriage was valid, not dissolving them. [105] (Appendix J).

Then, as now, the problems of poverty, fatherless children, abandonment and unmarried mothers continue to represent a running sore. The consistent connection between a father constantly active in the household and that same family’s absence from want, in the form of abject poverty, is a bulwark that dare not be acknowledged by reformers.

They prefer the explanation of poverty and social exclusion for the poorer outcomes and for the solution to be the ‘state socialisation’ of the family.

The conventional wisdom asserts that government alone can’t influence events and cannot hope to alter the way people think, lead their lives or make their choices.

It is downright dishonest to promote this theory.

There are countless instances where government alone hugely influence people and events.

If such government protestations were true why do reformers seek changes through the law ? Why do advertising agencies exist if they cannot hugely influence people and events ? What was wartime propaganda if it was not to alter people’s perceptions of the grim life they lead ?

Government and legislation can alter society. The moral and the actual influence of the Royal Commission on the Law of Divorce (1852-3) saw the complete eradication of the so-called “irregular marriages”. If in the unsophisticated 19th century, a government could manage to control marriage patterns surely this can happen again in the 21st century when government is anything but unsophisticated ?

The Law Commission must subscribe to the view that it has the power to alter human behaviour and events; otherwise it would not have floated its many and varied proposal over the years. The question unanswered is what sort of society does the Law Commission want to bequeath to us ?

1.Does government and/or the Law Commission want only cohabitation for all ?

2.Does the Law Commission view cohabitation as one more step towards making the mother-and-child unit a ward of the state ?

3.If this is the case, how are the state’s bureaucracies expected to cope with serial and multiple partnering ?

4.Their proposals may also encourage simultaneous partnering – which among spouses is termed bigamy – and which every advanced civilisation has criminalised. Will this be easy to handle as no benefits are paid to men/fathers in any eventuality ?

5.If nothing else, the Law Commission should give consideration to the implication at the mundane level of the effect on the birth rate, NIC contributions and pension provision. SMHs cannot fund the welfare state into the future.

6.With money haemorrhaging to bale out social platforms will we have no money, as New Zealand found, and have to sell off its Navel and Air forces ?

Forty years from now will it be common for women to have several ‘50% shares’ of pensions from 5 or 6 former ‘partners’ ? Will women still be cosseted by the state as men are forced to sleep in the streets and rely on charity handouts ?

Is that the future they see ?

It is not difficult to understand why some commentators see cohabiting couple households as the ‘problem family’ for both now and into the future (Appendix C).

19. Brenda Hoggett & Ruth Deech

Brenda Hoggett & Ruth Deech should not be automatically demonised or viewed as any more malevolent than any other Law Commissioner. However, the individual contributions they both made during their tenure were horrendous. Collectively, the most significant outcome was the creation of ‘the underclass’ and human misery on a pandemic scale. In the eyes of many commentators the Law Commission’s conduct catapulted into that category usually reserved for genocidal maniacs.

Hoggett & Deech were only two minds among many others, who collectively shared the same cosmic stream and who must collectively share the guilt. They honestly thought that their sort of change could be brought about relatively painlessly.

Deech and Hoggett are useful gauges in that they are a generation apart yet both failed to learn from life’s history lessons and to understand that actions have consequences – sometimes unforeseen ones.

Both failed to appreciate that human frailties and greed exist not only in the past but always.

One of the duo, Deech, has now recognised her misguided ideals of divorce reforms were damaging while the other, Hoggett, once the arch-enemy of married couples is herself now resigned to marriage as her preferred option.

Brenda Hoggett

Brenda Hoggett was an ambitious provincial barrister who was appointed to the Law Commission as the Commissioner responsible for ‘family law’ in 1984. She held the same post as the present team leader, Mr. Stuart Bridge. She was well qualified to comment on marriage and divorce, having experienced both on more than one occasion. Her second break-up is thought to have coincided with a move to London from Manchester and a career elevation.

Unfortunately, she was the fox put in charge of the hen house. She is a confirmed radical feminist, the tenets of which bar her from drafting legislation impartially.When she became a member of the Commission in 1984, she declared that she was “a feminist of the kind who would like to see changes in the way society is organised”.

One can only wonder why the Law Commission would appoint a person with arguably messianic views. The relevance of this woman cannot be underestimated and her key beliefs can be found in her essay entitled ‘Ends & Means: The Utility of Marriage’ 1980). In it she points out that family law “no longer makes any attempt to buttress the stability of marriages or any other union”.

At the time this news was greeted with widespread astonishment, as if some great truth had been revealed. Only among men’s and fathers groups did her remarks chime with their growing conclusion and therefore appeared unremarkable. [106]

Hoggett had, by 1980, reached the conclusion that British society should no longer attempt to buttress marriage. But she went further. She also concluded there was no point in attempting to buttress cohabitation by the unmarried.

This is Hoggett’s first but telling contradiction of the Law Commission’s present endeavours. Her other contradictions extended to compensation to the unmarried.

Hoggett was of the view that “extending the same remedies to the unmarried” meaning the gifting of money, home and children to the female cohabitee, was to lose sight of the objective. Attention should, in her opinion, be concentrated on long-term cohabitation continued to serve any useful purpose at all (be they via marriage or marriage-like institutions),

These, it should be recalled, were the heady halcyon days of abortion on demand, of The Pill and ignorance of the increased probability that they both increased cancers and thromboses later in life. It was an era yet to be blighted by the long shadow of HIV and AIDS, where promiscuity could be safely encouraged and multiple, short-term, serial monogamy was ‘de riguere’.

Four years later in 1984 Hoggett had moved to the Law Commission and it is from her period in charge that we owe much of the present package of divorce law reforms (however dysfunctionally and inefficiently they work in practice). [107]

More recently, in 1992, Mrs. Hoggett underlined her commitment to dismembering marriage in an article entitled ‘Family Law Reform: Where Will It End?‘ which surveyed the changes in family law over the past 30 years. (King’s College Law Journal).

The contradiction for her and the Law Commission is that Hoggett questions whether it is ‘necessary, desirable or even practicable for the state’ to grant licenses to enter into relationships, yet nonetheless wants to interfere by de-constructing it, while the Law Commission, for its part, wants to regulate freely entered into cohabitation that then founder.

‘Ends & Means: The Utility of Marriage’ is a title that prompts several questions One is whether she uses ends and means within the ideological definition of the radical left, i.e. one justifying the other.

The second is Bentham’s definition of ‘utility’, namely the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. If that was her aim it has not been achieved; her dream has soured.

Outcomes show that parties who divorce may feel an initial degree of happiness upon separation but it is short lived, superficial, and followed by increasing depths of poverty. For the children caught up in the process, unhappiness and failure is proven to dog them into adult life.

This cannot be the Benthamite utility Hogget was expecting but was it the dividend she wanted based on ‘the ends justifying the means’ ?

Perversely, for these contributions to our society Hogget who reverted to her maiden name to become Mrs. Justice Hale, was elevated to the House of Lords and has been made a law lord.

Ruth Deech

Ruth Deech was born in London in 1943, the child of Austrian Jews who fled Nazi persecution and sought asylum in England. Curiously, her secondary education was at a one of the foremost Christian schools, Christ’s Hospital (aka Bluecoat). She left with no suitable or many school qualifications but with more than adequate ‘connections’ was accepted into St Anne’s College Oxford (her well placed ‘patron’ who made this possible continued to assist her career development).

It was a belief that was well rewarded; Deech gained a First in Law in 1965. A year later at the age of 23 she was doing research for the Law Commission in London into divorce law, matrimonial property, and illegitimacy (1966-67). This is said to have prompted her interest in family law while doing research, though it must be remembered her father was also an attorney in Austria prior to 1937. Is it reasonable to suppose that the allegedly discriminatory nature of divorce in those days reminded her of the discrimination her father faced in not being able to practice as a lawyer after ‘annexation’ ?

It does seem a thin argument to justify her later conduct and one that cannot easily be reconciled within the Torah. It is an argument that lacks a degree of persuasiveness.

After 1965 she gained an MA from Brandeis University in the USA (this date appears to collide with her work for the Law Commission ?). She was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1967. She taught law in Canada (where she may have become radicalised) and then astonishingly three years later, in 1970, becomes a Fellow and Tutor in Law at St Anne’s College aged 27. [108]

Alone among former Law Commissioners Ruth Deech has now recognised that her participation in the reforms in the late 1960s were a mistake and ill-considered. In a Daily Mail article of 1995 she said looking back over the past 25 years she now realised that she and the Law Commission had “got it horribly wrong”.

The late Sixties and early Seventies were a time of change and experimentation. At one and the same time novel divorce reform legislation surfaced all over the Western World, particularly in English speaking countries. Countries as far apart as Reagan’s California and New Zealand the years 1969 to 1973 were key. All the legal changes bore strikingly similar, intentions, wording and alleged benefits. All the proposals, in fact, appeared to be copied. All have subsequently proven socially disastrous in the various countries and for same reasons.

All have proven expensive for the various Exchequers – in Jan 2002 New Zealand had to sell off its

entire Air Force of jet fighters and all its Navy frigates to maintain spending on social reforms – something we predicted in 1999. [109]

By the time the Family Law Bill was under discussion in 1994 the scales had fallen somewhat from her eyes prompting her to publish a booklet called ‘Divorce Dissent’ that picked up on all the principle failings of the regime she had helped to concrete into place.[110] In the autumn of her life Ruth Deech, who is also Chairman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, could afford to ruminate on her youthful excesses and confess deliberate falsehoods.

Though some may welcome her recantation she has not followed it through with the same society changing action of her reforms. Writing about one’s errors and then walking away is not a true act of atonement.

Nonetheless parliamentarians from both parties cited her extensively during the 1995 debate during of yet another divorce Bill. The claim was that as someone who had “apparently always opposed us on everything else and so cannot be accused of being a ….. stooge”. [111]

Whatever her past ideologies and views on ‘family values’ may have been, Deech was compelled to write:

“Our ancillary relief is already a vengeful process and is based on the premise that all husbands should maintain their wives regardless of conduct, and regardless of her ability to keep herself. The pressure to settle in twelve months will make it worse in every respect.” [112]

But in her letter to Mr. Leigh MP (Cons), Ruth Deech thenreveals that she had not ideologically

fully reconstructed herself. Her main concern, and that of men such as Mr. Leigh, MP, was ensuring the flow of wealth from one party to the other was not compromised when she wrote:

“Mediators will perforce [i.e. willy nilly – Ed] lend themselves to this process of settling everything regardless of justice within 12 months. The wife who is reliant on Legal Aid will be at the mercy of the mediation process whereas the husband who can afford to pay a lawyer will be able to use ancillary relief for his own ends. Will mediators be able to tell wives about pension-splitting, the effects of the Child Support Agency, mortgage relief, intestacy law, joint bank accounts, etc? It is not surprising that where there is any money at all, ancillary matters can take more than 12 months.”

– Hansard, 24 Apr 1996 : Column 505.

Strange Bedfellows[113]

Thus an unholy alliance of opposites is created. Reform and policy formulation is captured by radical left-wing thinking which embraces the theories of radical feminism promoted by lobby groups Red Pepper, the Angry Brigade, WNC, Faucet Society, Women’s Aid etc. All men, in their view, have in the past been getting away Scot Free, now this generation of men must be made to pay.

The establishment forces, traditionally diametrically opposed to such ideological lobby group, hold the chivalrous male view that divorcing men should “do the right thing” and provide for their former

wife. Convergence becomes inescapable as both parties, for entirely different reasons, seek to skewer all husbands, and make them pay regardless of income. To achieve their ends radical feminists find themselves in bed with politicians and the judiciary.

Working to an Agenda

Polly Toynbee in television interviews at the time and in her The Independent article, explained that the break-up of a marriage should be a cause for celebration. When the Family Law Act 1996 (FLA 1996) received Royal Ascent she described it as the culmination of 30 years of relentless work.

When asked about the deterrent effect the FLA 1996 would have on the younger male generation Lord Scarman, the first chairman of the Law Commission, said he saw the FLA as providing ‘protection for both male and female’ spouses.

Later in that same conversation, when pressed about the quality of judgments he expressed satisfaction and a belief that courts were already open to the general public.[114]

In words that predicted Toynbee’s response and knowing her agenda Deech had earlier written of the incremental step approach adopted over the decades:

“Every 30 years or so, when divorce is re-examined, well known social factors are blamed for the high divorce rate. In the 1950s it was blamed on lack of housing, youthful marriages, emancipation of women and high expectation by them.

In the 1960s it was blamed on the housing shortage, shot-gun marriages and the ability to legitimate children born out of wedlock by subsequent marriage, along with the availability of legal aid.

What has always been ignored is examination of the process of changing divorce law and the effects of the change on the public.

The relationship between the law and rates of break down of marriages is by no means straight forward but credulity is strained if one continues to acquit the law of any effect”. [115]

The reader might have noticed that it is not “every 30 years” that divorce is re-examined, in fact. Since 1971 new legislation has been proposed and adopted almost every two years.

The technique of grindingdown credulity in divorce (cited above), amounts to revolution by incremental steps that is today underway in the sphere of cohabitation.

Deech’s 1994 booklet concedes (p 10) that the Law Commission had knowingly used false / selective statistics to misleadingly make its case in 1969. She wrote that as a result of reliance on low levels of probity (i.e. low grade data) and the use of faulty information from the ‘social sciences’, the Law Commission ensured that it “led to wholly inaccurate predictions about the effects of the Divorce Reform Act 1969” – in short it was a social disaster. [116]

To round matters out, the agreed compromise that ‘only the innocent party would be granted a divorce’ was swept aside in a secular free-for-all headed by the Law Commission.

‘Spin’ is not a new phenomenon but the public was incredibly naïve in 1969. It was ‘conned’ by the exaltations that reforms would actually strengthen marriage, bring greater stability and protect children; the same claims have made but never made a reality every time divorce reform has been mooted.

Today, in 2006, the public is no longer so naïve, but 25 years after the 1969 Act, so complete had been the ‘spin’ and deception that this speech from the Bishop of Oxford (dated 1994) reflects a typically held view:

I believe I speak for the majority of bishops of the Church of England in warmly welcoming Parts I and II of the Family Law Bill [to make divorce-on-demand a reality]

I am particularly sorry to have to disagree with the noble Baroness [Young] on this point.

It is indeed true that the number of divorces has risen steeply in recent years; but it is not inevitable that that trend will continue. Many noble Lords will have read the latest figures for the number of divorces, and in fact they have gone down by 7,000 a year, or 4 per cent. The initial rise in the rate of divorce when the law was changed had at least something to do with the great backlog that had developed of marriages that had indeed severely broken down and for which, sadly, divorce was the least bad course of action. [117]

The Bishop of Oxford remarks in 1994 that divorce was down by 7,000 (i.e. 4%) is shown as an arrow in Fig 4.

The scenario promised by reformers in order to get the Bill passed in 1969 was that the temporary ‘blip’ seen in the 1947 to 1950 era would be seen again but only in the first few years of enactment. The impression given was that after the 1969 Act had been in operation for two to three years the ‘great backlog’ of loveless marriages would have been cleared and by 1974 or 1975 the numbers divorcing would be visibly declining to their 1960s level. In the event, the promised temporary blip became a permanent 30 year long stampede (see Fig 4 & Fig 19 above).

The fall in divorces referred to by the bishop must have been a 7,000 ‘blip’, for numbers have stubbornly refused to decrease. At best they can be said to have ‘plateaued’ – partly due to fewer people marrying.

Only the Law Commission could solemnly state, as if a throwback to Soviet propaganda, that:-

“the increases in the numbers of divorces does not, as is sometimes alleged, indicate a fundamental weakening of the fabric of society”. (Hansard 30 Nov 1995 : Column 732)

Deech gives us more insights about the true workings of the Law Commission than we know what to do with; how it misled and how it coldly ‘positioned’ public perception prior to draft legislation.

In her CPS booklet she reveals how:

·Skillful use of Legal Aid can be as effective as any piece of legislation

·“Due process” can be by-passed, for instance, when judges agree procedural changes between themselves.

·Internally agreed procedural changes can be as effective as any piece of legislation.

‘Special procedures’, which were introduced in 1973, now apply to 99% of all undefended cases. [p7]. They allowed the need for oral evidence to be swept away and divorce achieved merely by the presentation of documents alone without a court appearance.

The knock-on effect is that protection against being divorced against one’s will, in-built in the 1973 Act, was quietly abolished (it is thought that only seven cases of ‘hardship’ have been heard in court since 1971). In a twinkling, reconciliation which formed a main spar of earlier reforms became redundant. In a word, the bumbling bishops had been bamboozled.

In 1997 legal aid was withdrawn for undefended cases and financial provisions (both procedures favoured ex-wives), and the awarding of custody was separated from the degree nisi aspect.

This, Deech notes, suddenly made divorce very much more protracted and expensive. It probably also led to a strengthening of mother as the de fault child guardian pending a final outcomes. This could only influence subsequent CAFCASS Reports which tend to confirm the status quo.

Figures for Michgan (USA) show that in 2002 the trend in joint custody awards, at 23.44%, had increased slowly and as a result mother custody has slipped to 64.77% while father only custody was 10%. Compared to Britain, these are high levels of joint and father-only custody awards not seen in England since the mid 1980s. (see Annex E).

What does this hold for cohabiting in the future ? It tells us not to rely on governmental or any judicial promises – and certainly not to trust the assurances of the Law Commission. At best they will be adhered to for 2 or 3 years before some ‘technical adjustment’ have to be made.

20. Cohabitation in France

The Law Commission makes helpful reference to civil unions in France in footnotes to its 2006 and 2002 papers, e.g. Sharing Homes, a Discussion Paper (Law Com No 278, Nov 2002).

France’s recent legal changes (circa 1999) and the manner in which they were undertaken make for interesting reading in the present UK debate. Innately homosexual persons, and not those with mere affectations, normally make up about 2% of any country’s population – yet their influence in Britain, Canada, France, Australia, the USA, New Zealand etc, is out of all proportion to their number.

Known as ‘pacte civil de solidarité’ (PACS or PaCS), they are available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. It is a lesser form than marriage but brings certain rights and responsibilities that allow for two adults to organise their lives. There are 2.5 million French couples cohabiting outside marriage (4.1% of the Pop.), the highest rate in Europe outside the Nordic countries.

Legally, a PaCS is a “contract” which is stamped and registered by a clerk of the court. Somewhat confusingly, individuals who have registered a PaCS are still considered “single” with regard to family status for some duties, while for other purposes they are increasingly considered in the same way as married couples. PaCS replaced the older regime of certificat de concubinage the official term for heterosexual cohabitation (mistress) which carried only certain benefits for the other partner in the union, and did not settle any issue regarding property, taxes, etc.[118]

PaCS impose the filing of joint income tax after 3 years. Additionally, an annual wealth tax (impôt sur la fortune) applies to the combined assets of both partners. Unlike married couples, PaCS enjoy no right of survivorship, have no automatic inheritance rights, no survivor’s pension and there is no provision for the joint adoption of an unrelated child or the second-parent adoption of the partner’s child. This seems utterly logical and fair given that they will never have the expenses of children and the need to provide for them.

Not surprisingly PaCS met with some controversy from “traditionalist”, the right and those that believed family values would be compromised and disastrous for French society. (France is, for most British palettes extremely secular in its political institutions).[119]

A Deputy, Christine Boutin declared:

“Proposing to people of the same sex that they can live a caricature of family is a decision that lacks respect to them. They are given an illusion. Their suffering is covered by a veil of hypocritical modesty”

. …. All civilisations that recognised and justified homosexuality as a normal lifestyle met decadence.”

One immediately thinks of the Weimar Republic. The ‘normalisation’ of homosexuality by the host society remains a central ambition for gays and lesbians so that their peculiar lifestyle can be validated (it takes on an importance that heterosexuals cannot fully understand). This is not just true of France and England but of all advanced western democracies.

Nothing destroys the concept of marriage faster than gay and lesbian demands which paradoxically yearn to be cloaked in its respectability. Civil unions, cohabiting rights per se, inheritance tax avoidance and the right to immediately set about divorcing one another, allows gays and lesbians to display how alike to us they are – how normal.

British politicians pontificate on the liberalising of laws and rights for minorities but are too timid to state that civil unions amounts to no more than a cruel caricature.

In tautological terms that will be familiar to English ears the minister for justice (Grade des Sceaux) described PaCS as “a new way of conjugality, answering many needs and inscribed in continuity”.

What we have come to expect in England, namely, first getting the door open, is now underway in

France; the government has begun preparations to expand the rights granted under the original PaCS laws (sometimes referred to as ‘paving legislation’ in the UK).

In comparison to England a French parliamentary paper “Report on the Family and the Rights of Children” (Jan 2006) recommended increasing some rights given in PaCS in areas such as property rights, laws of succession and taxation, but it recommended maintaining prohibitions on marriage, adoption and access to medically assisted reproduction for same-sex couples.

The report also argued that the differences in rights between concubinage, PaCS and marriage reflect different levels of commitment and obligations on the part of the couples who enter into them.

The Law Commission could benefit from absorbing such an appraisal.

21. Intellectual Betrayal

The gross inadequacies depicted in the previous chapters, however, are simply waved aside by policy shapers and reformers. They are not seen as reasons for altering our present divorce system, even though their original stated reason for reform was always that it would help children.

The traditional role of the intellectual in society has been to deepen our understanding of place and time, and to awaken institutions, educators and politicians. However, this traditional role has been abandoned for one of self-glorification, televisual appearances promoting their latest book, moral and drug notoriety and – worst of all – mediocrity. Prof Normans Dennis has described the process of academics satisfied in seeking only ‘safe berths’ at universities.

The intellectual arguments used today are the same that were heard in the 1960s. They are not only tired but inaccurate. They can no longer be viewed as novel, or successful or generally beneficial to any sector of the population. In essence they have been a complete failure, and there is 30 years of human debris all around us to prove the point.

One of Britain’s foremost thinkers, Roger Scruton, has coined the term ‘oikophobe’ to describe intellectuals who hate nations or regard them as outdated. In his book, The Need for Nations, (pp.33-38) Scruton defines ‘oiks’ as having a ‘hatred of home’ which leads them to demand international or Europe-wide rule. ‘Oiks’ are so absorbed in their agenda that they are totally oblivious to the dangers of eliminating nations based on constitutional liberalism. [120]

The nation state is the best guarantee we have of peace, prosperity and respect for human rights. Attempts to transcend the nation state by creating trans-national political blocs such as the former Soviet Union and the European Union result in unaccountable structures.

Both the idea of the nation and the family is under attack from groups that have much in common. They despise both nation and family as being a throwback, an atavistic form of social unity, that need to be broken down and replaced by the more enlightened.

Scruton itemise the profound disadvantages of living without nation states:

·the sense of belonging on which democracy rests would be undermined.

·individual freedom would be much diminished.

·fundamental protections would be undermined.

Instead of permitting parity between traditional and ‘organic’ intellectuals, and of creating both hegemony and a counter-hegemony, in the classical Gramsci tradition, modern Britain’s intellectuals have drowned out counter views. [121] Academics of independent thought have been quietly eased out of university tenures across the country.

The brightest minds are being replaced by more compliant and complacent minds. Donald Dutton refers to this feminist protective reflex as an ‘in-group-v-out-group’ form of siege mentality that envelopes the group.

There is no Magna Moralia,no great ethical treatise, no viable world vision emanating from this ‘out-group’. This cannot be conveniently ascribed as some irrelevantly llofty, academic, or ethereal endeavour. It connects to real lives; it has bite.

The pangs of poverty, deprivation, family breakdown that flow from the bankrupt philosophies of a desperate intelligentsia, are instead muted by the ‘targeting’ of state benefits which is offered up as a solution. Well meaning state efforts – guided by the same intelligentsia – have only culminated in driving out the adult male from the family as a pre-condition for the paying of state welfare.

This has savaged not just large and average sized countries, e.g. USA, UK and Canada, but to a disproportionate degree the much smaller nations such as New Zealand. [122]

American Black families in particular now suffer greater fractions than in 1900. Today, there are also fewer married Black Americans than in 1900. Was this planned or totally inadvertent ?

The American AFDC benefit regime was supposed to address low income poverty, but it made the problem of fatherless dependent children worse. [123] Both the AFDC and the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) which later replaced it have been subject to much coverage and will not be detailed here. Suffice to say that it did not drive down poverty but drove out the male partner thus lowering family incomes and promoted the double tragedy of social disintegration and accentuated class/race divisions.

Judicial Discretion

A radicalised conventional wisdom – as opposed to the usually conservative conventional wisdom – has become the norm in our society. Modern intellectuals are fearful of being controversial, i.e. not adopting this radicalised conventional wisdom. The prospect of being howled down by one’s peers is not appetising. As consequence many minds have been cowed into conformism.

Instead of academic precision or being judgmental, we lazily prefer to gift ‘discretionary powers’ to others rather than work through the possibilities and complications.

Paragraph 3.71 in the Law Commission’s proposals, for instance, quaintly believes that English family law tends to adopt discretionary rather than rule-based schemes because they work better. However, this fails to take into account our experience which tells us that discretion is abused as often as it is used. The result of discretionary powers means that judges and lawyers can do almost what the want and never be seriously wrong. They cannot be held to account for being incompetent or plain wrong. Discretion is, therefore, a disaster for the ordinary man.

Discretion may suit the legal profession because they have a degree of intellectual rigour and could

argue that in most cases they might have got things ‘about right’ but that in those cases that they got wrong they were not sloppy or slovenly but applied the ‘rubberised’ notion of discretion.

The new radicalised conventional wisdom sees itself as fashionably anti-establishment; in its extremism it flatly denies that the family is breaking down – merely that it is ‘only changing’. The fact that these reassurances have come from erstwhile dependable sources has served only to undermine what common sense tells us about rising crime and family breakdown. The perception that there has been a rise in crime is dismissed as another silly instance of ‘moral panic’.

Norman Dennis demolishes these claims by carefully drawing attention to the inconvenient facts. In ‘Rising Crime and the Dismembered Family’, (1993) Norman Dennis develops the argument first advanced in his and George Erdos’ seminal study, ‘Families Without Fatherhood’ (1992). He sees fathers and their permanence within the family unit as key to stability and improvement.

Prof. Halsey, another left-winger reportedly said, at a 1991 IEA seminar, that he ‘shuddered for the next generation’ and feared “that many children brought up in one-parent families were not flourishing”.

Research findings by Halsey and Dennis that children from broken homes performed less well, provoked strong hostility from many (intellectual) quarters.

So wedded had the Social Science world become to a failed dogma that when journalist Melanie Phillips asked a prominent social scientist about the Halsey and Dennis’ claims, he released a stream of emotional invective that she recorded as:

“ … calling into question the mental faculties of those distinguished academics and asking excitedly: “What do these people want? Do they want unhappy parents to stay together?” After being pressed repeatedly to identify the research which repudiated the Halsey-Dennis thesis, he said, in summary, this: of course it was correct as far as the research was concerned, but where did that get anyone? Nowhere! Was it possible to turn back the clock ? Of course not ! And why were they so concerned above all else for the rights of the child ? What about the rights of the parents, which were just as important ?”

Shunned by the left-wing, in-favour academics, and assorted pundits alike, Norman Dennis, George Erdos and AH Halsey are nonetheless being proven right in their analysis as each month passes.

The real challenge has been to break through the barrier of political correctness which has:

a). closed the minds of the great majority of academics

b). mis-informed institutions.

c). crippled intellectual debate

d). suppressed Media dissection

We are all aware today that unemployment and poverty are frequently blamed for high crime levels it is difficult to believe that in 1970 the conventional wisdom was the reverse – it was the newly found affluence and low unemployment among the young that was the problem and high crime levels.

Melanie Phillips, pinpointed the left wing’s crisis as one where it had ‘elevated the pursuit of individual gratification into a noble and heroic ideal’; where no one lifestyle could be admitted to be better than any other for fear of offending minority sensibilities. The upshot was that gradually nothing and no one was allowed to be ‘normal’.

As a consequence the definition of ‘the family’ became blurred – a topic highlighted by Patricia Morgan in her book about the collapse of the family in New Zealand. [124]

John Haskey, who for many years produced social statistics for the ONS wrote in a foreword that: [125]

“For the best part of thirty years we have been conducting a vast experiment with the family, and now the results are in: the decline of the two-parent, married-couple family has resulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behaviour, isolation and social exclusion for thousands of women, men and children.”

There is a conundrum at the heart of welfare policy in Britain. The government and most people declare support for stable family relationships; they also recognize that two-parent families provide the best life chances for children and the best chance to avoid long-term dependence on state welfare. Yet the government’s attempt to reduce the poverty of lone parents and children through cash awards and work incentives actually discourages low-earning parents from forming committed two-parent families.

22. Maori Families

Nowhere is that conundrum better illustrated than in the application of welfare policy towards Maoris.

Nowhere is thatintellectual betrayal so gross as in the promise made that when cohabitation finally dominates a better and brighter future is assured.

The Catholic Church is alive to the menace posed, but the dreamy parsons of the Church of England and their well-intentioned wives have yet to “lock and load”.

The message has not yet fully appeared in mainstream newspapers that marital formats, in large

measure, dictate outcomes. We are still at a stage where it is the exceptional single mother family fiasco/rupture that is reported with the implicit assumptions that all other single mother family are behaving ‘normally’ [126]

Nonetheless feminist tracts, now very dated, continue to feed and nourish an Arcadian vision of a fem-centric world of earth mothers and female goddesses.

Since their most recent of reincarnations (in the late 1960s) radical feminists have, have pilloried marriage as the patriarchal oppression and, for good measure, the site of violence towards women. If this were true, non-traditional marital patterns, e.g. cohabitation or concubinage, would a) have ceased completely long ago or b). be welcomed as a remedy by men and women alike.

The reality is that domestic violence towards women is a red herring and in any event is greater in non-traditional marital units including same sex couples.

Child neglect and abuse in these marital formats is equally at intolerable levels. In many ways the alternative lifestyle perpetuates anti-social behaviours that other polices seek to erase. (Appendix E, see also D1, D2 and F).

Radical feminists have an inaccurate and therefore skewed vision of Maori culture – it is not as they suppose an exemplar of ‘happy families’ without the bogey of marriage. The work of Stuart Birks (Massey University) and Patricia Morgan (UK) emphatically enumerated Maori culture as far from the often portrayed ideal of noble savage.

Hillary Clinton’s immortal catch phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” has been latched onto by radical feminists. They feel the Maori way of life as personified by Hillary Clinton’s slogan encapsulates all that is good about living without the structure and strictures of a marital code.

The free spirit of the Maori culture is applauded by reformers of marriage who idealise their ‘family fluidity’ and lack of corrupting artificial Western marital structures. But they remain silent about the battering that this lifestyle is taking in human lives. This free spirit is to mistake the freedom of choice to do nothing from poverty that disables a society from doing anything.

As disciples to an ideology there are certain things that cannot be admitted to the wider world.

The Maori village en masse does not look after each child; each parent looks after each child; and each child knows its parent and grand parents and uses them in times of stress as the first port of call.

Suicide, seen by all commentators as the world’s best barometer for social policy effectiveness, has soared among Maori men in the last 20 years in sympathy with greater break-up of families and single parenthood (more young men in Scotland take their own life every year than die in road accidents).

Male suicides world wide have increased over the last 30 years while female suicides have generally fallen.

However, New Zealand is out of step with the wider world both in numbers and severity of change.

For instance, some of the most relevant and shocking show that:-

·Male suicides accounted for 40% of all male injury deaths – in 1974 male suicides were 12 per 100,000 but by 1997 it was 23 per 100,000.

·Among females suicide accounts for 25% all female injury deaths.

·Overall the age group 15 to 24 years accounted for 26% of all suicides in New Zealand.

There are, nonetheless, common themes found in New Zealand and the wider world inasmuch that suicide in both adults and children are closely related to divorce and single parenthood. As single parenthood can at times involve temporary cohabiting an extension is to include cohabiting as a risk factor.

New Zealand is both a microcosm and a useful scale model inasmuch that it has 3 distinct ethnic groups and, fortunately, it keeps accurate and detailed suicide and social statistics.

Overview:

In New Zealand where cohabiting has increased dramatically, male suicides in the 20 – 24 age groups is 49 deaths per 100,000 (12 per 100,000 for women).

The suicide rate specifically among Maoris youth is greater at 59 per 100,000

The suicide rate among non-Maori is 35 per 100,000.

Maori suicides exceed that of the world top ten, e.g. Finland (33), Latvia (35), and Russia Federation (41), Lithuania (45).

Marriage decreases the suicide rate and marriage combined with parenting reduces it even further. This is the societal and public investment that is absent in cohabiting.

Maori Specific:-

New Zealand’s ‘Women’s Safety Survey’(1996) found that one act of domestic violence (using a very broad definition) in the preceding year was reported by 25% of Maori women but only 10% of non-Maori women.

A survey among 2,000 men found similar figures.

The Women’s Safety Survey failed to differentiate between married and cohabiting.

80% of all reported ‘violence’ is ‘family violence’ and or takes place in the home.

Women admitted they ‘hit first’ in 28% of cases and in 67% of cases immediately ‘hit back’.

The survey found that among 23% of Maori women admitted act of violence toward their current male partner.

The same survey found that among non-Maori women this figure was only 8%

In the comfort that wealthy industrialised nations can provide we are more attuned to problem solving by arbitration, self-control and compromise. We fail to see or value that violent homes can make for violent adults capable of defending family or tribal property and lands. We see only the negatives.

We fail to recognise that it can be a force for good. It can induce self-regulation and self-restraint where in the absence of which feuding, vengeance and tribal warfare become the accepted means of dispute settling in, say, Papua New Guinea (Patricia Morgan, Family Matters (NZ) p159).

World wide, cohabiting is shown to be deleterious for women’s psychological good health, i.e. morbidity and pathologies. There is less ‘depression’ or mental health issues among married couples. In a Western Australia survey, for instance, the levels of mental health problems among single women and single mothers was double that for married women.

“It’s time social factors, like family breakdown and unemployment, are considered alongside the need to improve mental health resources.

Family break-up and separation from children were common causes, with separated men six times more likely to kill themselves than separated women.”

– Professor John Macdonald, Primary Health at the University of Western Sydney.[127]

Modern Maori families give us access to what British society might regress to were cohabiting be adopted. To do justice to Patricia Morgan’s work would take a lengthy chapter, however, the most relevant and shocking are listed here as bullet points:-

  1. All western nations have witnessed … [falling marriage rates, rising divorce, increased illegitimacy, falling fertility] … [but]In New Zealand these trends have been remarkable in their intensity.

  1. Using all the standard indicators, the family is now in worse state in New Zealand than almost anywhere else. The situation of the Maoris is a particular cause for concern. It is comparable to the American blacks, among who in large areas, the family based on marriage has virtually disappeared.

  1. Women born in the early 1940s had an average of 3.5 children while their mothers had 2.5 children. – this applied as much to Maori women as the white population.

  1. In 1961 the proportion of Maoris married by the time they were 21 was 22% for women and 8% for men. For non-Maoris it was 13% and 2% for females and males.

  1. The fertility rate among Maoris was 6.18 in 1962 and fell to 2.2 in 1980. By 2001 it has recovered a little to 2.5. The fertility rate among whites was 4.19 in 1962 and first fell to 2.01 in 1981 and has remained there ever since.

  1. By 2001 an estimated 27% of all New Zealand children under 16 lived in SMH (from 9% to 27%) but 44% of Maori children lived in SMH.

  1. As far back as 1987 surveys showed that up to 40% of children born into two parent families would by the age of 16 have experienced living in a SMH.

  1. Until around 1961 the number of divorces among New Zealand’s married women was 3 per 1,000. This increased to 13 per 1,000 after the Family Proceedings Act 1980.

  1. New Zealand is ahead of Britain in the ratio of abortions to live birth (22: 33 respectively. NZ has the worlds 3rd highest teenage births and the world’s 3rd highest teenage abortion rates (74 per 1,000 for Maoris and 30 per 1,000 for non-Maoris).

  1. In the 1971 census of NZ women aged 20 -24, 60% were married; by 1981 this fell to 41%; by 1986 it was 30% and by 2001 it was 9%.

  1. 1 in 5 pregnancies are ‘terminated’ with unmarried women accounting for 60% of all abortions – 70 % of whom are aged fewer than 25.

  1. In 1961 census 50% of men aged 25- 34 and 66% of men aged 35- 44 were married and raising 2 or more children. Between 1961 and 1997 the number of unmarried men aged 20- 24 rose from 63% to 93%.

  1. Maori cohabitation (among over 15 year olds) was already high in 1986 at 11%. By 2001 it was 17%. The number of one person households has doubled since 1971 (now 23% of all households).

  1. By 1996, 33% of Maori children lived in SMHs, compared with 14% in 1981.

  1. Those hostile to family values have used Maoris to argue that marriage is not traditional but a recent artificial construct. But Maoris do have legitimate and illegitimate categories and so do differentiate.

It is now customary that in debate we are asked to focus on ‘process’ and to ignore ‘structure’. For it is the ‘quality’ of parenting that counts we are told and not the structure in which it is given.

Sadly, as we can see from worldwide ‘outcomes’ of cohabitation and outcomes for fatherless children, this is tragically not true.

23. Lions Led By Donkeys

This phrase condenses the appalling slaughter and peerless incompetence of the First World War.

In that era nations were peculiarly blessed, principally Britain, Germany and France, with a brand of military commander ill-suited for the demands of mechanised killing.

Staff Commanders had only a rudimentary grasp of modern battlefield fluidity and were more accustomed to cavalry manoeuvres. It is not surprising that new weaponry with the capacity of firing 600 hundred rounds per minute neutralised troop advances. [128]

These commanders were inflexible, lacked vision and repeatedly thought that just one more assault would see their forces prevail. Staff Commanders on both sides lacked foresight and consequently made catastrophic blunders.

They were the donkeys and the ‘squadie’ was the lion.

National prestige made it hard to contemplate retreat. Frequently there was no ‘Plan B’. They accepted mass slaughter as a price that had to be paid. By 1916 it had became the ‘norm’.

In this blessed state of stupor millions of soldiers, the lions, were needlessly sacrificed. Germany alone suffered eight million causalities by 1918.

On Armistice Day itself (Nov 11th 1918) when foot soldiers on both sides already knew the war was at an end over 23,00 men were killed between 5am to 11am.

There are parallels for the English speaking nations for this slaughter of 90 years ago. Our institutions are ‘officered’ by the same donkey mindsets of 90 yeas ago. English speaking nations are peculiarly blessed in having rights based on Common Law but cursed in having Law Commissions in the British mould determined to overthrow the sanity and fairness it brings.

The ‘Generals’ today are blind to the teenage wastelands their assaults for a better tomorrow are generating. They are in denial that they are in large measure responsible for the ‘underclass’.

Law Commissioners find it hard to contemplate retreat; accept defeat; and seem destined only to re-fight yesterday’s wars ? One more assault will see their goal achieved appears their modus vivendi.

By giving matrimonial rights to cohabitees do they think they are successfully grasping and addressing the modern fluidity of family dynamics ?Indeed, are they gullible enough to believe that such fluidity and dynamics are unique to our present time ? All the foregoing chapters prove this to be untrue.

Cohabitation is not ‘the tank’ that will end trench warfare and revolutionise marital affairs.

The Law Commission must now realise they have made catastrophic mistakes over the years. The parallels are the squandering of men’s lives caused by divorce, the decimation of marriage, the lifelong price children have to pay, together with the stultifying effect on wealth creating powers should betoo painfully and too obvious to need pointing out to the Law Commission.

Metaphorically they have put millions of husbands to the sword and are content for future husbands to suffer the same fate. Ruth Deech calls our divorce regime ‘vengeful’, and she is right.

Therefore, when reform is in the air regarding the topic of cohabitation it is an appropriate juncture to scrutinise the competence, or lack of it, among the planners and commanders.

Social policy, as planned by institution, has become a by-word for wrong-headed, ineffective, clumsiness, costly overruns, failures to meet objectives and the worsening of most situations.

Society is only now beginning to catch up with men’s and fathers groups which have consistently been the market leaders in the analysis of social policy.

Their predictions and analysis, however, have been methodically shut out from the mainstream of consciousness. Only now that the situation has become so conspicuous and can no longer be masked are several of their strands for remedies being reluctantly accepted as probable solutions in mainstream thinking and government publications.

For a decade or more fathers groups have, compared with institutions, more correctly predicted what the upshots will be, highlighted the conceptual flaws and philosophical errors, correctly identified general weaknesses, and presented alternative to attenuate the impact of the failed polices.

Take for example the risk of poverty (see Fig 20 Manning & Brown, 2006). In the US the risk of Children experiencing poverty increases in any lifestyle ‘other’ than with two married parent families.

The equivalent British studies to the Carlson, 2006; Manning & Brown, 2006 are hard if not impossible to find.

When allegedly child poverty is the governments highest priority and child safety of prime importance in all government initiatives, it is amazing that it cannot judge ‘outcomes’ and encourage married couples over the cohabiting option (Fig 20).

An examination of how the ESRC spends its annual £100m research budget might demonstrate how

Disinterested it is in funding alternative views or confounding the failed propositions represented by the radicalised convention wisdom of the single mother as a ‘family unit’.

Fig 20

Source: “The conflation of marriage and cohabitation in government statistics – a denial of difference rendered untenable by an analysis of outcomes”, Bristol Community Family Trust; (UK) Harry Benson; Sept 2006.

Overseas studies continue to suggest that married families consistently do better than unmarried families on important outcome measures.

The chart above, of the Manning & Brown findings (Fig 20), illustrates the potential differences to be found when comparing the risk of poverty amongst US children by parental marital status. This reflects a human and not a uniquely national condition and can be safely extrapolated, in broad terms, to other nations with less detailed statistics, e.g. Britain.

In this US study the relatively low risk faced by all children with “couple parents” (the red and blue bars) would have concealed in most studies.

The averaging of data by aggregating “cohabiting biological parents” or “cohabiting step-parents”

into the married couple category is a corruption and stain on British statistics. As a consequence the true relatively high risk faced by children is never made public.

By contrast, the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study is an oasis of research study in an otherwise British desert. It is one of the few large scale longitudinal birth cohort study (some 15,119 parents).

The other most recent UK analysis of this kind, i.e. pro-family, and in the public domain was published on behalf of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) by Kathleen Kiernan, of the LSE, in 1999. [129] The CASE study (funded by the ESRC)is therefore seven or more years old and relied on a relatively small dataset. [130]

Despite being portrayed as inevitable it remains a fact that more people remain married than divorce (see ONS data on first-time marriages). Compared to married couples, cohabiting couples – irrespective of income group – are at least twice as likely to split up (6% versus 20%, see Fig 21).

Only re-married couples split-up at a rate that approaches the cohabitee frequency and numbers.

The risk of a cohabiting family breaking up is 3.5 times greater at 20% than a married couple at 6%. Marriage keeps families united according to research by the Social Justice Policy Group. They found

that couples with young children are five times more likely to split up if they are unmarried compared to those who have had weddings (Appendix L). This is not a new development but has been shown in innumerable studies over a great many years.

Fig 21. The overall risk of family breakdown by family type

Table 1

Married couple

Unmarried couple

Cohabiting couple

Closely involved

Just friends

Other

Total

Family breakdownrisk

6%

32%

20%

76%

96%

94%

20%

Risk: Others vs. married couple

1.0

5.5

3.5

13.3

16.7

16.4

3.4

Source: Abbreviated Table 1. Bristol Community Family Trust; (UK)

Fig 21 shows ‘the risk’ of family breakdown for married couples is 1 compared to 5.5 times for unmarried couples and 3.5 times for cohabiting couples.

The independent influences of both income and marital status in family breakdown risk is depicted in Fig 22. Using a sample size of 15,119, it illustrates in graphical form the differences shown as a table in Fig 21, i.e. unmarried couples 32% risk (red bar) and ‘closely involved’ couples 76% (orange bar).

Fig 22.

Source: ibid, Bristol Community Family Trust; (UK)

The difference in family breakdown risk between married and cohabiting couples is sufficient that even the poorest 20% of married couples are more stable than all but the richest 20% of cohabiting couples (see Fig 23 risk of Couple Break-up by Income and Marital Status).

Fig 23

Source: ibid, Bristol Community Family Trust; (UK)

Despite a great deal of evidence that marriage benefits and protects adults and children, successive British governments have deliberately set out to erode and dismantle policy and mechanisms that distinguish married from unmarried cohabiting families.

Marital reformers and the Law Commission claim they want happy, well-rounded children. But their sincerity has to be seriously questioned when all they will ever produce as a result are cripples – human beings disfigured and permanently scared by a system that succeeds only in managing to caresses the ideological egos of the legislators.

The hypocrisy arises when the siren voices accentuate the importance they allegedly attach to ensuring optimal ‘outcomes’ for children in public policy. This is posturing and merely theoretical. The findings shown in chapter (Fig 20 to Fig 24) more than demonstrate that the lack of distinction between marriage and cohabitation in government policy and research is destructive.

Fig 24. Break up by age, by marital status and involving children

Source: ibid, Bristol Community Family Trust; (UK)

Moreover, the integrity of government advisors has further to be questioned by the persistent and erroneous use of ‘aggregating’ sub-sets in order to confuse and obfuscate – particularly when public pronouncements proclaim the paramountcy of transparency in all matters governmental.

Government would be better off being given no advice at all.

Birth statistics show that 95% of married and 91% of cohabiting mothers give birth to their first child in their 20s and 30s (Fig 24). While increased age moderates break-up rates the more unstable marital status is the cohabiting couple in the’ Teen to 30s’ category. (re: Bristol Community Family Trust data). When the risk of family break-up is plotted against child abuse, the greater vulnerability of children inside cohabiting family units is exposed.

Conclusion

In the opening pages we asked why reform was so zealously pursued when there was no overt public demand. We suggested part of the answer was obsessive institutions, MPs with compulsive fixations to leave their mark on the world, and/or an unfathomable mindset within Whitehall.

Head and shoulders above this throng is the Law Commission which wrote in “Sharing Homes; A Discussion Paper”, Law Com No 278 (2002);

“Moreover, the notion of the “traditional” family, based on one or two parents and their children living together in one unit, does not make allowance for multi-generational living arrangements within a family, where a home which may be legally owned by the head of the family is occupied by siblings, children, grand-children, and possibly even great grand-children, many of whom may be adults. As the population ages, there are many elderly siblings or friends who live together for comfort and companionship, and adult children who move in with their elderly parents to provide day-to-day care and support.” – Page 2

This world view is so alien that it is difficult for mere mortals to grasp what the Law Commission is driving at with any degree of certainty.

Inter-generational White households have always been the “norm”. Until the ‘family wage’ was abolished by the Equal Pay Act, it was not impossible or uncommon for households to comprise a nuclear family with children and grandparents.

The primary reason was that no income tax was paid by a married man in the middle and lower income bracket with two or more children (see “Freedom’s Children”, report by Demos 1995).[131]

It made economic sense for the state to gift marriage and married couples modest tax allowances and concessions to be self-sustaining. It was and remains a far cheaper option than the cross-subsidising we see today, especially among the non-married groups.

Moreover, how many households in Britain does the Law Commission think do not make allowance for multi-generational living ? In the 1920s and 1930s it was common for newly married couples to live initially with their parents. The emergence of higher wages in the1950s and 1960s, a huge post war re-housing programme and easier credit in the 1980s to 1990s made this avenue less obligatory.

Multi-generational living as a form of ‘living arrangement’ is today found almost exclusively among non-white families, e.g. Asians, who represent around 1% of Britain’s population (see also Maoris, above). The Law Commission offers the nation a self-fulfilling prophesy. Its proposals would see more singletons; Black and White single people with no intention of marring or cohabiting because of asset theft. Multi-generational living for all ethnic groups would mushroom not out of economic necessity but dint of the dread both options contained for young people, particularly males.

Has the Law Commission even considered this, or the impact of government policy that favours the building of one and two bedroom apartments over four bedroom family homes ?

Apparently not.

Fig 25. Individuals in the Bottom Income Distribution Decile(i.e. 1/10 or 10% – after housing costs, by Family Type (%age).

1979 *

1988 -89

1990-91

Pensioners

Couple

20

6

6

Single

11

8

5

Single persons

No children

10

22

18

With children

9

10

11

Couples

No children

9

10

12

With children

41

44

49

100%

100%

100%

Source: Dept of Social Security, Incomes and Wealth. Table 5.19. and Social Trends Table 5.12. (see also “Farewell to the Family ?”, P. Morgan. IEA)

* post Finer Report

It is reasonable to suggest that multi-generational living arrangements have been rendered impossible by government policy. In particular the switch in April 1990 from the ‘married man’s allowance’ to independent taxation and personal allowances, which should have benefited husbands and wives but was instead construed to benefit ‘independent’ husbands and wives, i.e. cohabiting couples. [132]

The outcome, in pay-packet and ‘feel good’ factor terms, was curious. As can be seen from Fig 25, the incomes of both single and couple pensioners had gradually increased between 1979 and 1991.There were fewer pensioners in the very lowest income category in 1991 than there had been in 1979 (a fall from 20 to 6 and 11 to 5). This is shown in Fig 25.

Under the old and rigid tax regime all other groups experienced the opposite in the same period (1979 -1991). More individuals moved into the lowest income bracket irrespective of economic times of constraint or plenty.

What is of concern in Fig 25 are those couples with children category. At 41% they were the largest sub-set facing poverty and before the Norman Lamont changes which should have rectified their position the level had worsened to 49% by 1991 (Fig 25).

Single mothers who have traditionally received immense levels of media attention about their levels of poverty moved from being 9% of the poor in 1979 to 11% by 1991.

The Lamont tax changes began to be effective after 1991. Any trend in cohabitation and marriage

rates or increased in child abuse or child poverty should be measured from 1991 (attributed to the changes of April 1990).

The raison d’etre of the Lamont changes was to put more money into the hands of working people by allowing them to shift allowances between the two spouses to minimise the impact of taxation.

Arguably the Lamont changes had no impact on the trend in lone motherhood (see Fig 3 above) but equally it did nothing to curtail it. They did nothing either to reverse the downward trend in the numbers marrying (Fig 8), though births outside marriage increased from 211,300 in 1991 to 237,900 in 1997 at a time when births inside marriage declined (Fig 9 and Fig 16).

In 1979 almost half of all “poverty” in Britain could be found in homes with husbands, wife and children and or unmarried mothers (41% + 9%).

By 1991 these two sub-sets accounted for 60% of poverty. Since then the situation has only deteriorated prompting the creation of the Working Family Tax Credit.

With the collapse of prudent family policies, the tax burden has been deposited on the very families meant to be assisted, with those on lowest incomes or with one main earner the hardest hit.

The nuclear family has to sustain the not inconsiderable costs of children but also the increasingly substantial costs of fuel, food and mortgage commitments. Progressively this has had to be based on a two–income strategy (“The Fragmenting Family: Does it Matter ?” Dr Patricia Morgan, IEA).

Cohabiting – and by implication lone motherhood – depends for its survival on the ‘tax take’ of others. Its survival oxygen is the subsidisation it receives from those least able to pay taxes. [133]

Children represent income foregone and therefore married couples who are more usually in paid employment are doubly impacted by child rearing costs and paying taxes to those who are not married (and who, statistics indicate, are less likely to be in paid employment).

While it is true that, as individuals, the richest pay numerically the most in tax, it is poignantly true that those on the margins of an average industrial wage pay disproportionately more in taxes (more of their disposable income) into the Treasury coffers than the rich.

It is worth reiterating the views of John Haskey, who in “Experiments in Living: the Fatherless Family” wrote: “For the best part of thirty years we have been conducting a vast experiment with the family, and now the results are in: the decline of the two-parent, married-couple family has resulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behaviour, isolation and social exclusion for thousands ofwomen, men and children.” (pub. Civitas, Sept 2002).

Serial cohabiting, and its concomitant condition ‘lone parenting’, have never been economically viable as an alternative to marriage and are never likely to be. Though exalted opinion formers are reticent to confess it, cohabiting is generally so unstable that it is perhaps best described as episodic periods punctuated by lone parenting.

Yet since 1998 government has seriously compromised all family policy reviews. The Cabinet has been divided against itself over the value of marriage as a concept. A headline in the Daily Telegraph of March 11th 2002 read, “Marriage too risky for Cabinet to support” and sums up the dilemma.

In the 2002 Discussion Paper [134] examples of how the Law Commission’s scheme for property ownership might work were set out (page viii). One example focused on a couple in their sixties whose son, now aged 22, comes to live with them. His parents have paid off the mortgage but he makes significant contributions to the household budget.

Should the son, the Law Commission asked, be allowed to inherit when his father died or be entitled to a share of the house anyway after ten years of living there ?

What can have motivated a hypothetical question ? The temerity of even considering attempts to alter time-honoured laws and traditions is stupefying. A normal person would know the answer without having to think twice.

Why is the Law Commission making everyone’s life so complicated ? We have a structure for inheritance precisely to avert any such blurring of the boundaries.

What is blindingly obvious is that the Law Commission is overly keen on, quote, “a property approach” to sharing out wealth among separating people. At Para 8it declareshow it has sought to grant a person who was not the owner of the home an ‘interest’ in it and set a value of that share.

Why is the Law Commission so overtly obsessed with other people’s property ?

Not for the first time the Law Commission is poorly informed where (at page 6) it states that today there is more cohabiting and that;

“It is quite clear that even among cohabiting couples of the opposite sex, marriage is no longer the norm”.

This is simply not true.

More than ever it illustrates the vein of deceitfulness within the Law Commission and validates Ruth Deech’s verdict that the Law Commission deliberately misleads by using faulty and even totally false data.

It remains a fact that the majority of cohabiting couples still want to marry.

Let it be made factually clear – marriage is still the norm and cohabiting while increasing is still a minority choice. It is not a leisure pursuit enjoyed by a majority.[135](See also Appendix M).

The secondary inference is that ‘marriage’ is no longer the norm among same-sex couples (re: ‘even among couples of the opposite sex). The Law Commission forgets that until the Civil Partnership Act 2004 cohabitation was the only ‘normal’ format available to homosexuals in the UK. It is the yearning to be normal and just like heterosexuals that fuelled their long and bitter campaign for same-sex unions. By this logic marriage must have value and status otherwise why would the same-sex lobby have pressed so ardently for it ?

Logic, as is evident in this detail, is occasionally ‘on ration’ among Law Commission thinking. Why else would it confer the clear choice of cohabitation or ‘marriage’ upon homosexuals but deprive heterosexuals of the choice by making the penalties the same for both (unlike for homosexuals).

If the Law Commission had any conscious any shred of decency it would long ago fallen on its sword.

Sadly, it is bereft of virtue and morals.

The Law Commission is sleep walking Britain into a future where Andrea Dworkin might have felt very much at home. The late but unlamented Andrea Dworkin had a vision of a lesbian’s Womanland where no men were permitted (May 2000). [136] Bitter and twisted she may have been and farcical though the notion seems at first glance, if we take a reality check – today, in 2006 – we are uncomfortable closer than we might have imagined.

Four years later, in 2004, the BBC broadcast a series entitled “If”. Set in the year 2020 it portrayed society’s elimination of any input by men. Men were redundant for all life’s needs; they were superfluous to requirements and they were downgraded to a sub-specie. Using only present day science, and medical breakthroughs that are on the cusp of being achieved, the resultant social morality was one where the Final Solution was disguised in the sub-text.

Fortunately radical feminism has no grasp of economics or accountancy thus rendering the ‘If’ scenario of academic interest.

The concept of human progress by invention evades them and they have no concept of wealth creation, only the redistribution or other people’s wealth.

But even to fantasise with discarding or down grading one half of the population smacks of gender supremacy and apartheid. It is dangerous and sexist and would have dire financial implications.

It is so juvenile an idea that it is easy to deny, nonetheless it is an idea routinely encountered in feminist essays and one wonders why it is not entirely disowned once and for all.

The dire financial implications show up in the most basic of measurements, e.g. National Insurance Contributions. The men in work contribute disproportionately to the ‘welfare state’ and take out less than women (see Fig. 26).

Fig. 26. National Insurance Contributions (in millions). Class 1 ONLY

Year

All Men

Married Women

Single/DivWomen

TOTAL

% paid by men

1991

12.78

5.37

4.22

22.3

57.3

1992

12.29

5.36

4.07

21.7

56.6

1993

11.94

5.39

4.04

21.3

56.0

Source ONS Table 3.12 p 61 ‘Social Trends’

In employment terms men are 4 times more likely to be unemployed than women and for longer durations and across all age groups than women. Yet paradoxically, men are less likely than women to be a drain on the welfare system.

·Men are less likely to seek medical attention or use hospital resources.

·Because they die younger and work for more years, men are less likely to receive a state pension that reflects the amount they have contributed.

·The opposite is true of women.

·Women live far longer than men but do not fund their own pensions. Women are subsidised, and have been for years by men, i.e. since 1947.

·Both private pensions (if he has one) and the state pension continue paying his wife until her death yet few wives take out polices to cover their spouses (and feminists complain about poor levels of pension cover for women).

·When men divorce they lose their children for no good reason and no one notices that most child homicides and severe abuse cases are committee by mothers.

·If women attempted to stand on their own feet economically, they would soon topple over so the state has to support them.Does society do this for men ? No.

·Men have no control over reproduction.

·Men have no say in choosing to abort to abort,

·They have no veto whether they accept becoming a father, and thus no say in whether they should pay CSA or not.

Men are being marginalised, suffering ‘taxation without representation’. They are told they must pay even though the choices have been made by others.

In the main, men as a specie are held in contempt by politicians and academia.

They are deemed disposable, especially by the media.

Curiously, all these power centres have been ‘sensitised’ not to offend Blacks, Jews, Homosexuals etc, but by some logic this courtesy is not extended to Men.

This ‘disposability’ is never more in evidence than when declaring ‘war on terror’.

Only the heroism of 9/11 and 7/7 remind us that we abuse the selflessness of men and ignore their self-sacrifice and investment in our society at our peril.

END

Appendix A

Wife forced to sell her home to settle with ex-husband

By Catriona Davies, (Filed: 26/05/2006)

[Emphasis added ]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/26/ndiv26.xml

A wealthy woman who married her lodger claimed yesterday that she would have to sell her “magnificent” country home to fund the £3.65 million divorce settlement.

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that Heather Martin-Dye, 54, should pay another £650,000 on top of the £3 million she has already paid to her former husband Philip, 55.

The couple met when Mr Martin-Dye, a former British Airways pilot, began lodging at his future wife’s home, Green Lane Farm, in Shamley Green, Surrey, which is now worth £4 million.

They soon formed a relationship, married in 1987, and had a son, Freddie, the following year. Mrs Martin-Dye already had a daughter, Isadora, from her first marriage.

Mrs Martin-Dye had bought the farm estate, which also includes two cottages, stables and 41 acres of land, with her first husband, with whom she ran a computer software business. She now runs a livery business from the stables.

Following the couple’s divorce in 2002, Mrs Martin-Dye was awarded 57 per cent of their £6.3 million joint assets to his 43 per cent because she had brought 90 per cent of the wealth to the marriage.

However, there was a dispute over whether Mr Martin-Dye’s £900,000 BA pension fund should be regarded as a capital asset to be divided. It was far higher than his wife’s £100,000 fund.

The district judge and High Court judge both ruled that the pension funds were capital assets, but three Court of Appeal judges yesterday reversed that decision.

Instead of dividing the capital in the pension funds, Mrs Martin-Dye will get 57% of her former husband’s £37,000-a-year pension payments, and he will get 43% of her £5,800-a-year pension.

Because of the change in the calculation of the total combined assets, Mrs Martin-Dye will now have to pay a further £650,000 in the divorce settlement.

After the hearing, she claimed that she would have to sell the Green Lane Farm, described by the district judge as a “magnificent” country home. Mrs Martin-Dye said: “I am dismayed. To have to sell it to pay off my former husband is heartbreaking.

“The result has come as a shock. When we were first married I owned most of the assets, but I am now having to pay my ex-husband so much money that I must sell my family home and down-size.

“This judgment has pauperised me. From being a strong independent woman with multi-million pound assets, I am now reduced to the level of a maintained ex-wife.”

Mr Martin-Dye said outside court: “I am relieved this is all over because it has been going on now for two-and-a-half years.

“I do not see it as a victory because this is the result I should have got at the outset of these proceedings. But in the light of what has been happening in the divorce courts recently, I see it as a small triumph for man.”

He said he had “worked hard” during the marriage as an airline pilot, property developer and running a kitchen business.

Mr Martin-Dye’s solicitor, Henry Brookman, said the case set a precedent in that the courts could no longer equate pension values with other capital assets.

Costs of the case, which the couple will share, are estimated at around £1 million. Lord Justice Thorpe, giving the court’s ruling, said -pensions had become an “increasingly important ingredient within the range of financial investments made by prosperous families”.

He said the judges in the courts below had treated the pension rights as property assets and this was not a fair result.

Pensions should not be split between the parties taking their estimated value, but as a share of the income they generate, he ruled.

Heather Martin-Dye bought the farm estate with her first husband, but must sell it to settle her divorce.

Appendix B

Custody ruling deals a blow to house husbands


By Matt Born, Daily Telegraph, April 19th 2002

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/04/19/ncust19.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/04/19/ixnewstop.html

THE principle that children should be raised by their mothers won the overt backing of the Court of Appeal yesterday after it rejected a house husband’s attempt to win custody of his two children.

The father, who had raised the children in their £1 million home while his wife enjoyed a successful career on a salary of £300,000, argued that he was the victim of sex discrimination.

But the court refused him leave to appeal against a High Court decision which granted custody to his estranged wife. Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Buxton, said that despite the “unusual” role reversals in this case, they could not ignore the “realities” of the “very different” traditional functions of men and women.

The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had wanted the children to live with him in London while his wife, the family breadwinner, continued to maintain them.

He also opposed her plans to give up her career and move hundreds of miles away with the children, who are both aged under six. Richard Tott, the father’s barrister, asked the court to imagine the situation in reverse.

He said that if a male breadwinner proposed giving up his job, taking his children out of private education, moving far from London, and replacing the mother as the primary carer, “his application would be looked at with extreme scepticism”.

But in his ruling, Lord Justice Thorpe said that this submission seemed “to ignore the realities involving the different roles and functions of men and women”.

The judges heard that after the couple split up last year in “fraught circumstances” each had applied for custody.

The husband moved out of the family home, while the mother cared for the children briefly. However, they soon reached an agreement to share time with the children. The husband moved to a nearby rented house, paid for by the mother.

But the mother now wanted to give up work in order to spend more time with her children.

His belief that her desire was genuine was the decisive factor in rejecting the father’s claim, Lord Justice Thorpe said. He said it was “not uncommon” nowadays for those who have “sacrificed the opportunity to provide full-time care for their children in favour of a highly competitive profession” to think again about their priorities.

The judge added: “[They] question the purpose of all that striving and whether they should re-evaluate their lives before the children have grown too old to benefit.”

Appendix C

One ‘problem family’ costs £250,000 a year

by Denis Campbell and Ned Temko, The Observer, Sept 3, 2006

[Emphasis added]

http://society.guardian.co.uk/socialexclusion/story/0,,1863841,00.html


Problem families whose members commit crime, live on benefits and have poor health cost the state £250,000 a year each, research for the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit has found.

Officials working on the government’s Social Exclusion Action Plan say the figure is a realistic assessment of how much it costs to deal with a family living in deprivation who are responsible for antisocial behaviour.

The £250,000 figure includes NHS treatment, money spent prosecuting and punishing law-breakers, social security benefits, call-outs by emergency services, damage in their neighbourhood and the cost of keeping a young person in care or a secure unit.

A total of £57.9bn is spent every year trying to tackle or prevent problems associated with the social exclusion of about 1.3 million poor Britons who have multiple problems. That includes £1.9bn on looking after the 60,000 children who are in care and £30bn on benefits for those who are ‘high-risk and high-cost’.

Tony Blair will stress the cost to society, both financial and practical, when he delivers a lecture on social exclusion to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on Tuesday.

Appendix D

Marriage decline means fewer women murdered

22 February 2000, THE INDEPENDENT, London, 22 February 2000

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freedomcafe/message/227

The decline in marriage is having another unexpected effect on Western society ­ a decline in the murder rate as fewer husbands have fewer opportunities to kill fewer wives.

A study of the dramatic decline in murder rates in the United States has found that a decrease in the proportion of young people marrying has led to a significant fall in the number of young wives being killed. This has had a significant effect on the nation’s murder rates, according to Richard Rosenfeld, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St Louis.

“Fewer marriages means fewer opportunities for spousal violence,” he told the meeting. He said that the US had experienced a 20-year decline in murder rates, which vary significantly from one city to another.

Professor Rosenfeld described the fall in homicides as “substantial, widespread and enduring” and said there was no evidence that it was coming to an end. The other factor is that there are more young American men in prison than ever before, with a tripling of the imprisonment rate between
1980 and the mid Nineties.

He calculated that one homicide was prevented for each increase of 670 prisoners. “When you multiply 670 times the $20,000 (£12,500) it costs to house one prisoner in America you get $13.4m dollars, exclusive of legal costs. The question becomes, is that too much to spend to avert one homicide?” Professor Rosenfeld said.

There is a third factor that may also be influencing the decline in murder rates: America is finally becoming civilised, he suggested. “More prisons and fewer families don’t fully explain the decline. What we may be seeing in the United States is a real and sustained intolerance for unregulated violence. Historians call it a ‘civilising process’,” Professor Rosenfeld told the meeting.

Appendix D 1

Partners pose most risk to women of violence

London Reuters, Thu Oct 5, 2006 7:02pm and The Scotsman

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/05102006/325/partners-pose-most-risk-women-violence.html

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1479562006

Women are more likely to suffer physical and sexual violence from their husbands or partners than other people and the violence is more severe in rural areas, according to research published on Friday.

The World Health Organisation report analysed the extent of violence against 24,000 women in countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

More than a quarter of the women questioned in 13 of the 15 sites included in the study had experienced physical or sexual violence by their partner at least once in their lives.

“The findings show that, across a wide range of settings, women are more at risk of violence by an intimate partner than from any other type of perpetrator,” said Dr Claudia Garcia-Morena of the World Health Organisation.

The prevalence ranged from four percent in cities in Japan and Serbia to more than 30 percent in rural areas in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Peru. The violence was most severe in rural rather than urban settings, the report said.

Men described as controlling were the most likely to be violent against their partner.

Sexual violence usually consisted of forced intercourse. Physical violence ranged from pushing and slapping to being kicked, beaten, choked, burnt and threatened with a weapon.

“The findings confirm that physical and sexual partner violence is widespread,” Garcia-Moreno said in the study published in The Lancet medical journal.

But she added that violence against women is not inevitable and must be addressed.

Women in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania were questioned for the study.

The researchers said the results provide the countries with information to initiate changes and to assess what interventions are needed to reduce violence against women.

NB. British statistics show that women are overwhelmingly murdered by ‘intimates’ i.e. their own daughter, son, mother, father, uncle, lover, boyfriends etc, etc. Rarely to the point of zero by outsiders. Homicides of men far outnumber that of women and only a significant fraction are by ‘intimates’ – most are by ‘strangers’.

Appendix D 2

Judge links crime to broken homes

A leading crown court judge has sparked controversy by claiming many

offenders come from single parent families.

A leader in the Sun argues that “the judge is right” (Sun, p.24, p.6 [leader];

Mail, p.20; Express, p.6 also cover the story.

[Emphasis added]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4416946.stm , 08 Nov 2005

Judge John Curran told a youth conference on crime that single teenage mothers often made bad parents because they were too young to have children.

The judge made a wide-ranging attack on the breakdown of family values during his speech in Cardiff.

The single parent support group Gingerbread Wales has criticised the judge for generalising.

Judge Curran told the all-Wales high sheriffs’ seminar on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour: “This is not a case of ‘judge slams single mums’.

“Many of the parents who create this kind of environment for their children are themselves very young and inexperienced and are just plain ignorant of what is required to bring up a happy, well-adjusted child.”

He said that the vast majority of separated parents raised their children successfully, but added: “A depressingly common theme of the early lives of offenders is the separation of the parents at a very early stage of the child’s life.

“The fact is, however, that all too many of those who end up in the criminal justice system do so against a background of an absent parent – usually the father.”

‘Broken home’

He said a “disturbing number” of single mothers were in their teens and under the age of consent at the time of conception “or even the birth”.

Young offenders’ fathers were “frequently young offenders themselves, and either not on the scene at all or, if they are, setting a positive bad example by their behaviour”.

He urged parents not to feed their children junk food or be “parked” in front of the television all day, and said they required “constant love and attention”.

“It’s got nothing to do with money or throwing expensive presents at Christmas at the child.”

The judge also said parents must recognise that children took priority in a relationship and they had to learn to “stick together” until the children were adults, unless a relationship was abusive.

Judge Curran, who has 40 years experience in criminal law, said “the broken home” was at the root of much of the crime he saw.

“It’s rather an old-fashioned term I suppose but I’ve got to the stage in life where I regard being old-fashioned as a virtue and so I’ll stick to it,” he said.

‘Generalising’

Margaret O’Sullivan, from the support group for lone parents Gingerbread Wales, told BBC Radio Wales: “I don’t think the judge should generalise, saying it’s always children from single parents that get into trouble.

“A lot of lone parents aren’t young single mothers.”

She said she had suffered from vandalism and burglary caused by children from two-parent families.

“I don’t think if there is a father around it always means that the children are good. It depends on the role model in the family as well,” she added.

Children’s commissioner Peter Clarke, said he agreed with some of the things the judge said, but told BBC Wales the most important thing for children was to have “parents who provide the guidance which will allow them to grow up into young citizens”.

Teenagers questioned in Bridgend, south Wales, had mixed opinions on the judge’s views.

One boy commented: “I think being a teenage parent is too young because you can’t look after a baby on your own. You’re not old enough.”

However a teenage girl said: “I don’t think it matters if you’re a teenage mum as long as you’re good to your children and caring.

“My mother was 18 when she had me. I feel she’s given me good discipline – she taught me what’s right and wrong.”

Story – BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/wales/4416946.stm

Appendix E

Boarding school for care children

28 August 2006

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5293424.stm

A pilot scheme to educate some children in local authority care at state and private boarding schools is being considered by the government.

Schools Minister Lord Adonis said it would be “money well spent” if exam results improved but only a small number of children would be affected. The charity Barnardos has suggested eight out of 10 children in care leave school without qualifications.

The charity’s head, Martin Narey, said this idea could help some children.

Individual needs

Lord Adonis told the BBC: “In the discussions we’ve had it’s a number of schools both state and private, that already have expertise in this area, that are keen to explore the potential for expanding this but I should stress that we are talking about small numbers.

“We certainly do not see this as an answer for the great majority of looked-after children.

“We need to see that the solutions that we have are fit for the individual child.

“But for some children it may well be that the stability which can be brought about by boarding schools, which can cater for their particular needs, will be a great improvement on the status quo.”

Stability

Mr Narey said: “One of the advantages is that it might be much easier to find them stable foster arrangements, because foster parents would find it much easier if they were taking children just in holidays rather than 52 weeks of the year.

“So some stability would be brought into their home and their educational life which could make a difference…”

On Monday the Institute of Public Policy Research suggested children in care should be given £20 a week to pay for after-school activities to encourage them to achieve better exam results.

The think tank puts the overall cost of the scheme at £27.4m, which it said would work out at £1.32 a year to the average taxpayer.

Appendix F

Single mothers’ benefits ‘cover-up’

by David Leppard and Robert Winnett, The Times, October 17, 2004

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-523-1314096,00.html

THE government has been accused of suppressing an official report that suggests Labour’s generous welfare benefits encourage single motherhood.

The study, which took the Office for National Statistics (ONS) two years to compile, has not been published and is deemed politically sensitive, according to a senior insider.

A draft report on “living arrangements in contemporary Britain” – seen by The Sunday Times – reveals that one in four single mothers may have opted out of a traditional family environment for financial reasons.

It says the women have a “regular partner who lives elsewhere” and there are “financial disincentives” that encourage couples to live apart.

Ministers have already been accused of pressuring the independent ONS into producing politically helpful statistics. The latest disclosure by senior ONS officials suggests potentially damaging information is being withheld.

The controversial study was carried out by John Haskey, the government’s leading expert on the family. Haskey, a research fellow at Oxford, recently told friends: “It’s my baby and it’s being aborted. The pressure to toe the line comes down from the top.”

Haskey found that 1.2m couples in long-term relationships choose to live apart — but the rate among single mothers is almost twice the national average.

Critics have long said that Gordon Brown’s reforms to the tax and benefit system — rewarding single mothers with larger handouts — are a key cause of divided families.

David Willetts, the shadow work and pensions minister, said: “The tax and benefit system should go with the grain of human nature but instead this research is evidence that it is stopping people from forming stable couples.”

More than 830,000 lone parents live on welfare benefits, claiming income support, child allowances and housing benefit costing a total of £14 billion a year.

Previous studies have shown that lone parents who marry stand to lose between seven and 28% of their income. Haskey’s research suggests more than 200,000 may be choosing to live apart to maximise their benefits. Others may be defrauding the system by failing to declare cohabiting partners.

Robert Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge, said: “The system of benefits offers a very strong incentive for people to remain as lone parents. I am sure Gordon Brown’s system of tax credits has made it worse.”

An ONS spokesman said: “We will be publishing the article when we are satisfied that the statistics are of publishable quality. For the ONS, there are no political issues whatsoever.”

Appendix F 1

Crime statistics ‘were distorted by politics’

By Robert Verlaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent, The Independent, Feb 13th 2006

[Emphasis added]

http://newssearch.looksmart.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20060213/ai_n16057336

The Government misled the public over the success of its anti-crime policies by distorting research that contradicted its political aims, according to leading criminologists.

Ministers’ obsession with spin means that academic studies which failed to support government policies were being suppressed, said the criminologists, many of whom have worked for the Government.

One former Home Office researcher is so concerned about the distortion of research that he has called for a boycott of Home Office research.

[See also Appendix D’sfavourable looking statistics’ – Ed]

The Home Office spends £20m on research papers each year, which are supposed to offer independent analysis of subjects such as crime and asylum so that appropriate policy can be drawn up in response.

In one paper, the Keele University criminologist Professor Tim Hope revealed that research he carried out into an anti-burglary project showed it would have increased the level of crime by almost two-fifths.

This result was “something of an embarrassment” to the Home Office, which never publicly commented on it and did not select the findings for a full report, said Professor Hope. “It was with great sadness and regret that I saw our work ill-used and our faith in Government’s use of evidence traduced.”

The Home Office commissioned further research on the same anti- burglary scheme – which focused on making homes more secure – and analysed it using different techniques.

“Through various manipulations of the data, the Home Office method does what it can to capitalise on chance, producing much more favourable findings overall,” said Professor Hope. “But for individual projects, the method produces considerable distortion.”

Dr Reece Walters, a senior lecturer at Stirling University, accuses the Home Office of “rubber-stamping the political priorities of the government of the day” and calls for a boycott of Home Office research. Dr Walters writes: “Its research agenda is motivated by outcomes that are of immediate benefit to existing political demands. It is embedded criminology.” Another writer claimed that an influential study which is being used to support millions of pounds of public spending was “flawed”. Paul Marchant, a chartered statistician, of Leeds Metropolitan University, criticised a 2002 Home Office report which concluded that better street lighting led to reduced crime.

“My ongoing debate with the authors and the government body involved is that the use of statistical methods in this study lacks sufficient rigour and so the claim is not supported by the data,” he said.

The criminologists’ papers were published in Criminal Justice Matters, the magazine of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College London.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Office has not yet seen these allegations. However, our research is commissioned from leading scholars, as a result of competitive tendering, and is subject to external and independent peer review. Nevertheless, the Home Secretary has been concerned for some time that Home Office statistics about crime have been questioned and challenged.”

Copyright 2006 Independent Newspapers UK Limited


Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

All rights Reserved.

Appendix F 2

Home Office accused of ‘political bias’ in research

By David Barrett, the Scotsman, Feb. 2006

[Emphasis added]

http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=223312006

THE Home Office was accused of distorting its research for the government’s political ends yesterday, with one Scottish criminologist calling on academics to boycott the department.

The Home Office spends £20 million on research papers each year, which are supposed to offer independent analysis of subjects such as crime and asylum, so that appropriate policy can be drawn up in response.

This month’s edition of the academic journal, Criminal Justice Matters, accused the department’s research programme of “rubber-stamping the political priorities of the day”.

In one paper, Professor Tim Hope, of Keele University’s criminology department, revealed that research he carried out into an anti-burglary project showed it would have actually increased the crime by two-fifths.

This result was “something of an embarrassment” to the Home Office, which never publicly commented on it and did not select the findings for a full report, said Prof Hope.

“It was with great sadness and regret that I saw our work ill-used and our faith in government’s use of evidence traduced,” he said.

The Home Office commissioned further research on the same anti-burglary scheme – which focused on making homes more secure – and analysed it using different techniques.

“Through various manipulations of the data, the Home Office method does what it can to capitalise on chance, producing much more favourable findings overall,” said Prof Hope. “But for individual projects, the method produces considerable distortion.”

Another author writing in the journal, published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College London, called on academics to boycott participation in Home Office research.

Reece Walters, of Stirling University, said: “It is clear that the Home Office is only interested in rubber-stamping the political priorities of the government of the day.

“To participate in Home Office research is to endorse a biased agenda and I say academics must boycott the seeking of, and participation in, Home Office research.”

Damian Green, the Shadow home affairs minister said: “The fact that leading criminologists are questioning the reliability of the Home Office’s research is a damaging blow to the government’s credibility in this area.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Office has not yet seen these allegations. However, our research is commissioned from leading scholars, as a result of competitive tendering, and is subject to external and independent peer review.”

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=223312006

Last updated: 13-Feb-06 01:39 GMT

Appendix G

Four Out of Five Migrants ‘Take more from the

economy than they put back’

London Evening Standard, 29th August 2006

[Emphasis added]

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23364888-details/Four+out+of+five+migrants+%27take+more+from+economy+than+they+put+back%27/article.do

Four out of five migrants take more from the British economy than they contribute, a report has warned today.

The analysis demolishes the Government’s key claim that migrants pay more in taxes than they take back in public services.

Instead, a small number of very high earning foreign workers are masking the fact that 80 per cent of immigrants are taking more out of the economy than they contribute over their lifetimes.

Only one in five is earning the £27,000 a year required to make a positive contribution over the course of their lifetime. It means that, if they settle here, they will cost the taxpayer money.

The report’s author, Migrationwatch UK, said it proved the case for only highly-skilled economic migrants – such as doctors and engineers – to be allowed to settle in Britain. It heaps even greater pressure on Home Secretary John Reid to call an end to Labour’s ‘open door’ migration policy.

Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch chairman, said: ‘The Government and its supporters repeatedly trot out favourable looking statistics which seek to give the impression that immigration in general has a very positive effect on the UK economy.

[See also Appendix C – C 2 re: ‘spin’ and ‘favourable looking statistics’ –Ed].

The reality is that immigrants are extremely varied. A minority are highly skilled and highly paid but a large majority will end up as a cost to the taxpayer if they settle here permanently.’

The Government calculates adult migrants make-up 10.6% of the population, but contribute 10.9% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product – its total economic output.

This is the basis for its claim they make a ‘small but positive’ contribution to the economy.

But, using the Government’s own Labour Force Survey, Migrationwatch says this calculation fails to show the full picture. To make a positive contribution to GDP over the course of a person’s lifetime, they must earn £27,000 a year. This is the equivalent of paying £7,600 a year in income tax and other taxation, and would cover the costs of healthcare and other public services into retirement.

Only 20% of migrants achieve this. But, many of those that do – such as financiers, engineers and NHS consultants – earn large amounts of money. This makes it appear that migrants in general are making a positive contribution to GDP when, in fact, they are only a small minority of the total number.

Some eight out of ten earn less than £27,000, with a large number – including many eastern Europeans – on the minimum wage of less than £10,000 a year.

Britons are in the same position, with eight of ten of those born here not earning £27,000 and higher earners paying the majority of the tax bill.

But the difference is that the government can choose which work-related migrants are allowed to settle in the UK, and therefore has the option to select only those who will provide a boost to the economy.

Migrationwatch says that, as a result, only those earning more than £27,000 – and who are filling a vacancy that cannot be taken by an EU citizen – should be allowed to settle here by the Government’s new advisory panel on immigration.

The panel, announced by John Reid last month, is to set an ‘optimum level’ of economic migration to the UK when it finally meets in two years’ time. Any limit will exclude asylum seekers, and those given permission to live here for family reasons.

Sir Andrew said: ‘To most people the measures we are suggesting are simple common sense. This research demonstrates once more that there is no economic case for massive immigration into the UK.

‘The Home Secretary is right to say that we need to balance economic gain against social costs.

‘The social costs of the present massive levels of immigration, including their impact on infrastructure and public services, far outweigh any possible benefit.’

The Government is powerless to restrict the number of migrants moving to Britain from within the EU, including Eastern Europe. More than 600,000 have flooded in from the former Eastern Bloc since the controversial expansion of the EU two years ago.

Up to 300,000 Romanians and Bulgarians are expected to follow when they join next year, unless the Government restricts their right to work here.

The study will add further fuel to the immigration debate, which has led to demands from former Labour Ministers to limit the number of new arrivals. Ex-Minister Frank Field said that, even without any new arrivals, there are not enough houses in the UK to adequately house the current population.

Former Home Office Minister John Denham said that Britain was already struggling to cope with record levels of immigration and was not ready for fresh waves.

The Conservatives have called for restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians. The Government has hinted limits could be imposed, but is yet to reach a firm decision.

A Home Office spokesman said it could not comment on the report in detail, as it had not yet seen it.

But he added the contribution made by migrants to British life could not be measured simply in terms of economic output.

It added a new points-based entry system for economic migrants would take into account factors such as salary, and whether an applicant is highly-skilled.

Appendix H

‘Violence blamed on teenage mums’

Study claims that immature young parents with poor discipline techniques are creating aggressive children

Mark Townsend, Sunday October 16, 2005

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1593326,00.html

Britain‘s high rate of teenage pregnancies is a principal factor in the cause of violent crime, according to a controversial report by a leading criminologist.

Speaking before the launch of one of the largest ever studies into violence, its author George Hosking said that parents under 16 were contributing to ‘a cycle’ of aggression that meant people were 25 times more likely to be a victim of violence than 50 years ago. His comments were denounced by many as demonising young parents.

Hosking referred to evidence that a person’s propensity to violence is determined by the age of three. He said that teenage parents can lack ’emotional maturity’ and misjudged attempts at discipline could lead to their children developing violent tendencies. A strong, healthy relationship between parents and babies is vital to reducing aggression, he said.

‘More and more children are being born to younger parents who have no reference to draw on in how to handle a baby,’ said Hosking, a clinical criminologist and chief executive of the Wave Trust, a charity dedicated to tackling the root causes of violence and which this week will unveil its nine-year study into the issue.

He added: ‘Lower emotional maturity, lower emotional reserves and experience or maturity that people can draw on as parents play a role. People treated particularly badly under the age of three were more likely to go on and abuse as adults. Early intervention is required to stop a cycle of violence from developing.’

Despite government attempts to tackle teenage pregnancies, Britain still has one of the highest rates in Europe. Latest figures reveal that the rate of under-16-year-old pregnancies in England and Wales has increased.

Although Hosking said he wanted to avoid being seen as critical of parents, his views will be interpreted by some as yet another attack on teenage mothers and fathers.

Catherine Evans of the Brook Centre said: ‘There is a real risk of demonising teenage parents who are doing their very best for their children. They need support rather than being undermined or criticised. Teenage parents themselves are likely to have fewer educational opportunities and that is likely to have a knock-on effect on the outcomes of their children, but I am not aware of any evidence on the effects of teenage pregnancies.’

However Norman Wells, director of Family and Youth Concern, a research group that looks into the causes of family breakdown, said: ‘It certainly could be a factor. It shows the importance of addressing the high rates of out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancies that we have in this country.’

The Wave Trust report, which analysed scores of academic studies into the causes of violence, claims that people are 25 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime now compared to the Fifties. Based on official police statistics, the study calculated that in 1950 there were 47 violent offences per thousand people compared to 1,158 for 2003/2004.

Hosking, who is 61, added: ‘When I was walking around in the Fifties compared with walking around now we are looking at levels of risk and violence way beyond what was present at that time.

‘Comparisons are now being made using the Nineties as a yardstick, yet violence then was many, many times higher than in the Fifties. We should be looking to that decade for a normal, acceptable level of violence,’ said Hosking.

The increasing risk of violence contradict the findings of the British Crime Survey, which indicates that violent crime is going down. A spokesperson at the Home Office would not comment without having seen the methodology used by the Wave Trust.

However, he said: “The British Crime Survey is regarded internationally as the most reliable measure of trends of crime. It shows violent crime is actually falling and has reached its lowest point since 1981.”

Appendix I

Breach of Promise

Law Reform Commission of Ireland

http://www.lawreform.ie/publications/data/volume1/lrc_6.html

The Law in Other Legal Systems

CHAPTER 2

(a) England and Wales

In the late 19th century, several Bills were introduced by Private Members in the House of Commons, seeking to abolish the action for breach of promise, but they did not become law. The subject was examined by the English Law Commission, which published its Report, entitled “Breach of Promise of Marriage”, in 1969. The Law Commission considered that the present law gives opportunity for claims of a “gold digging” nature. (This is the reason why legal aid was never made available for such actions.) The Commission also referred to the argument that;

“the stability of marriages is so important to society that the law should not countenance rights of action the threat of which may push people into marriages which they would not otherwise undertake”.

The Commission, whilst conceding that this threat might not be a major factor in practice, stated:

“[I]f, as we believe, it is important that parties should be free to terminate an engagement, then it can hardly be thought desirable to retain the contractual effects of an agreement to marry”.

The [Law] Commission examined five proposals for reform that had been canvassed.

The first was to abolish the action and provide no new remedy. This was rejected on the ground that it would result in injustices in regard to property questions.

The second was to retain the action but to limit it to the recovery of special damages. This was rejected on account, inter alia, of the difficulty of defining “special” damages so as to exclude compensation for such matters as loss of prospects of marriage.

The third proposal was to abolish the action and to create a new procedure for adjustment of gains and losses limited to those transactions that would not have taken place had no marriage been in contemplation, if the nature and size of the transaction resulting in gain or loss were “reasonable in all the circumstances”.

The general aim of the Court should be, so far as possible, to restore the parties to the position they would have been in had they not become engaged, except where a party had made an overall gain, in which case the gain should be shared. The adjustment scheme should be subject to a general provision that it should not apply where it would be inequitable. In this regard the English Commission considered that,

“although the mere withdrawal from an engagement should not be regarded as a ‘fault’ and penalised, it might be inequitable in some circumstances to overlook the conduct of one party”.

The Commission had earlier suggested that the adjustment scheme should apply in all cases where an intended marriage failed to take place, such as where the engagement was terminated by mutual agreement or where one of the parties died.

The Commission in its Report rejected the adjustment scheme for four reasons:

(a)It would involve accounting difficulties unless prolonged enquiries into the parties’ expenditure were made.

(b)The introduction of such a scheme would actually “be using a very large hammer to crack a very small nut”. Even if community of property were to be proposed later by the Law Commission for married persons, it would be inappropriate and unacceptable to impose it upon engaged couples.

(c)The scheme “might well bring into court more cases than at present”, the concept of fairness being so vague. Since acrimony surrounded some terminations of engagements, it would be better for the law to provide “a reasonably certain basis on which the parties may be advised what arrangements are open to them”.

(d) Public opinion might oppose such a detailed examination of private affairs.

The fourth proposal considered by the English Law Commission was a modification of the third, namely, to replace the action for breach of promise by a system of adjustment of losses only. It rejected this proposal for substantially the same reasons as it rejected the third proposal.

The fifth proposal was to abolish the action for breach of promise, replacing it by a procedure for settling property disputes between the parties. This proposal was accepted by the Commission.

The Law Commission 1969 stated:

“The special relationship between engaged couples may lead them to enter into informal transactions concerning the acquisition or improvement of property, whether owned or purchased by one party or by both, and whether intended for their common use or otherwise. Such transactions will often be very similar in nature to those between married persons. There is a strong case for applying the same principles of law to disputes between ex-fiancés as those which apply to disputes between husband and wife”.

Appendix J

Widows, and To Prove a Marriage

“Irregular marriages” – widows and orphans left penniless because the

proper procedures had not been followed.

See also Appendix H re: “irregular marriages,” I marry you.” “You and I are man and wife”.

In the second, “I will marry you,” or, “I will take you to be my wife”–

ROBB v. ROBBet al

(1891), 20 O.R. 591Ontario Common Pleas, Robertson J., 2 February 1891

Husband and wife–Indian marriage–Evidence of lawful marriage– Declarations of deceased husband as to -Legitimacy of children.

http://library.usask.ca/native/cnlc/vol03/613.html

The question to be disposed of arises under the will of John Robb, and involves the question of the legitimacy of the infant defendant.

Both real and personal estate is devised and bequeathed under the will to the son William George Robb, subject to the following:

5. “I also will and bequeath, that if my said son Wm. Geo. Robb, should die unmarried, leaving no legal heir before the death of my wife, she shall by this my last will, have full power to dispose of all my real estate wherever it may be in Canada, or elsewhere, and divide the proceeds equally between her relatives and mine, giving to my relatives the half to one or more to those she may think in her opinion most deserving of it. Provided that if my son should marry and have an heir, all my real estate, but what is mentioned in section second of this will, I leave to my son and his heirs, and all moneys on accounts due to me at my death, securing to my wife the amount mentioned in this my last will, for her support during her life.”

The will bears date 24th June, 1872. The testator died before 1st July, 1886. The son, William George Robb, also died on or about the about the 4th November, 1888, intestate, leaving him surviving, the infant defendant, who claims to be his legitimate child, which, however, the plaintiff and the other defendants deny. The facts, as regards the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the infant, are as follows:

Some time previous to the year 1869 the deceased, William George Robb, left Ontario and went to British Columbia, and there, in 1869 or thereabouts, was married to an Indian woman named “Supul-Catle,” daughter of “Wah-Kus,” the chief of the Comox tribe of Indians, whose wife (the mother of “Supul-Catle”) was “Klach- Woshum-Keach,” and the only wife “Wah-Kus” had at that time. Robb was married to “Supul-Catle” according to the Indian custom and paid the father, “Wah-Kus,” $20 in half-dollar pieces. There was a feast given by “Wah-Kus” in honour of his daughter’s marriage with a white man. The giving of presents to her father and the relations of the woman, and the acceptance thereof by him.

At the time of this union, that is, of the alleged marriage, between Robb and “Supul-Catle,” British Columbia was a British colony, independent of and forming no part of the Dominion of Canada, and had a legislature of its own, and all the functions of self-government to the same extent as other British colonies where responsible government exists. The Comox tribe of Indians, as I understand it, were and are a nomadic band, which frequents British Columbia; and there is no evidence before me to show whether they are Christian or Pagan; but I think I can fairly assume from what has appeared, that they are the latter.

In Campbell v. Campbell, above referred to, it was held that a connection commencing in adultery, which however was not pretended in this case, may on ceasing to be adulterous, become matrimonial by consent, and may be evidenced by habit and repute, the parties being at liberty to intermarry; and further that the alteration in the character of the connection from adultery to matrimony need not be indicated by any public act, or by any observable change in the outward demonstration.

And the Lord Chancellor there held that proof of the legitimacy of the offspring is proof of the legitimacy of the marriage. (and according to Lord Mansfield, C.J., in the Berkeley Peerage Case, 4 Camp. 401, at p. 416), “If the father is proven to have brought up the party as his legitimate son, this is sufficient evidence of legitimacy till impeached, and indeed it amounts to a daily assertion that the son is legitimate.”

In Eversley on Domestic Relations a short sketch of the origin and growth of the laws of England, respecting marriage is given, and inter alia that learned author says: “The tendency in England, as far as legislation has hitherto progressed, has been to regard marriage less as a religious obligation and more as a civil contract; for matrimony with all its requirements was formerly looked upon as a spiritual act within the province of the courts Christian; but the spirit in which modern legislation affecting it has been conceived, clearly evinces that its temporal and civil motive is to be held paramount and the basis of present and future change:” (p. 16).

Again, “as time went on the Church clothed their contract more and more with the character of a religious ceremony, and treated it less and less as a civil contract affecting the state in which the parties lived. But the consensus of the parties was the vital and essential portion of the contract, and these who had no impediment barring their union, might by agreeing to take each other as man and wife, contract a good and effectual marriage.

The effect of the consensus of the parties being the important (and essential element in forming this vinculum, and theceremonies attending the formation but incidents, was that frequent marriages were made in which the consent of the parties was expressed, but not by any outward manifestation of religious rites:” (p. 17).

On the whole, I am of opinion that it must be declared that the infant defendant Sarah Jane Robb is the lawful daughter and the only “legal heir” of the said William George Robb, and as such is entitled to take under the will of her grandfather, John Robb, set out in the statement of claim; and I declare accordingly. The costs of all parties to be paid out of the estate, as between solicitor and client.

Appendix J 1

Addendum 2007

We have stated that legislation is not the answer. We have also stated that there should be no interference with the present status quo regarding inheritance and succession.

The Law Commission will probably justifies introducing its 2006 reforms on the back of this 2007 Scottish case. Ironically Scotland pioneered what the Law Commission has in mind for England. It passed laws to make it easier for female cohabitees to claim on the estate of male partners.

The intention was to allow female cohabitees to benefit directly, unhindered and unencumbered. But in the first test case involving ‘SL’ (a deceased father), more problems were created than were solved.

It became a 3 cornered fight between 1. the estate 2. the mother and 3. the children.

New family law could bring legal misery

By Bob Burgess, The Southern Reporter, 20th April 2007, Scottish Borders

FAMILIES could be facing heartbreak as a result of what a top local lawyer believes is bungled legislation rushed through by the Scottish Parliament.

And the local sheriff – who is handling what is believed to be the first case to be tripped up by the new law – has alerted lawyers about problems they are likely to face.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond says the public too must be made aware of hidden pitfalls in the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

Part of the act deals with how estates of people living together are dealt after one dies without having made a will.

Until the legislation was brought in a surviving partner had no legal claim on the estate.

That has now changed. But what was being seen as a step forward is creating an expensive headache for one family in the Borders.

And there are fears that this difficulty will be repeated across Scotland.

The live-in partner of SL, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was killed in an accident last year. He had not made a will. SL, the mother of his children, then made a claim under the new act, but that same legislation also states that if a death is intestate – that is, without a will – the estate passes to the children.

– – snip – –

Appendix J 2

“Jumping the broomstick”

Early Marriage and Divorce Practices in England

– according to Jane Griffiths MP (Reading, East), Lab

House Commons Debate, 24th Oct 2001, Vol 373 cc 320-7

“Before Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act 1753, people’s relationships could be recognised in several different ways, which attracted some legal and social consequences. One of the most widely known practices was jumping the broomstick. A couple jumped over a broom that was leant against their front door, thereby gaining certain legal rights and responsibilities. Divorce was certainly easier in those days because the relationship was undone by jumping back over the broom in the presence of witnesses. There is no indication of the means used to resolve arguments over the distribution of assets held in common, although probably there were no assets.“

Appendix K

Pagan and Invalid Marriages

ROBB v. ROBBet al

(1891), 20 O.R. 591Ontario Common Pleas, Robertson J., 2 February 1891

Husband and wife–Indian marriage–Evidence of lawful marriage– Declarations of deceased

husband as to -Legitimacy of children.

http://library.usask.ca/native/cnlc/vol03/613.html

Lord Howell, in his celebrated judgment in Dalrymple v. Dalrymple, before referred to, in discussing, what are termed “irregular marriages,” and which are known by the name of Sponsalia per verba de præsenti, and Sponsalia per verba de futuro cum copula, in the first of which such words were used, as “I take you to be my wife.” “I marry you.” “You and I are man and wife.” In the second, “I will marry you,” or, “I will take you to be my wife”– said: “Different rules relative to their respective effects in point of legal consequence, applied to these three cases–of regular marriages–irregular marriages–and of mere promises or engagements.

In the regular marriage everything was presumed to be complete and consummated both in substance and in ceremony.

In the irregular marriage everything was presumed to be complete and consummated in substance but not in ceremony; and the ceremony was enjoined to be undergone as matter of order.

In the promise or sponsalia de futuro, nothing was presumed to be complete or consummate, either in sub- stance or ceremony. Mutual consent would release the parties from their engagement; and one party, with- out the consent of the other, might contract a valid marriage, regularly or irregularly with another person; but if the parties who had exchanged the promise had carnal intercourse with each other, the effect of that carnal intercourse was to interpose a presumption of present consent at the time of the intercourse, to convert the engagement into an irregular marriage, and to produce all the consequences attributable to that species of matrimonial connection.” (p. 65).

This was the state of the canon law before the Council of Trent, which compelled that council to introduce the necessity of marriages among Roman Catholics being celebrated in the presence of the parish priest, after due proclamation of the banns, or the obtaining of an episcopal license.

But the marriages not celebrated in the presence of the church, etc., were only deemed irregular, were dis-countenanced, and were visited with punishments, and ecclesiastical censure, etc. Morally speaking, however, they were good, as far as they went, in the eyes both of church and state, and the issue were legitimate–In a word, as said by Willes, J., in Beamish v. Beamish, 9 H. L. Cas., at p. 306: “The general law of Western Europe, before the Council of Trent, seems clear. The fact of marriage, viz., the mutual consent of competent persons to take one another for man and wife during their joint lives, was alone considered necessary to constitute true and lawful matrimony.” And this is the law of Scotland at the present time.

If I understand the case Re Bethell, 38 Ch. D. 220, correctly, it appears to me that the marriage there would have been held good and valid, had it not been for the fact that polygamy existed in the Baralong tribe into which Bethell married; and it was on this ground, that he, as a Baralong, had the right to take more than one woman to be his wife, that his marriage with “Teepoo,” according to the usage and custom of that tribe, was declared invalid according to the law of England, because it was not formed on the same basis as marriages throughout Christendom, and was not, in its essence, “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.”

Then again, in that country polygamy was legal. In British Columbia, at the time of the marriage between Robb and “Supul-Catle,” it was illegal; but as before stated, I do not base my judgment on that ceremony at all, for the reasons already given, and had Re Bethell been free from the evil of polygamy, I think it would have been declared that the union between Bethell and Teepoo would have been a valid marriage, as it was formed–in so far as the mutual consent of the parties was concerned, followed by cohabitation and the birth of a child–on the same basis as marriages throughout Christendom are formed.

Appendix L

Marriage ‘keeps families united’

BBC, 7th September 2006

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5323798.stm

Couples with young children are five times more likely to split up if they are unmarried compared to those who have had weddings, the Tories claim.

Some 32% of unmarried parents split up before their child is three, a study of 15,000 people recited by the party’s Social Justice Policy Group suggests.

The government had tried to “airbrush out references to marriage”, group chairman Iain Duncan Smith said.

Labour did not comment on the claims by the former Conservative leader.

The study was written by Bristol-based pro-family campaigner Harry Benson and was submitted to a group set up to tackle problems such as family breakdown, crime and drugs.

Conservative leader David Cameron promised it would “come up with the right policies to help communities to turn themselves around”.

‘Vital to well-being’

“Family breakdown leads adults and children into poverty and other social problems,” Mr Benson wrote.

“Any government that wants to reduce poverty and inequality for both children and adults alike has to address the issue of marriage, and what it is that makes marriages work better than the alternatives.”

Mr Duncan Smith claimed the study showed “the government’s assumption that children’s outcomes are solely dictated by socio-economic factors is wrong”.

“The structure within which they grow up and are nurtured is vital to their well-being,” he added.

“The government’s corresponding attempt to airbrush out references to marriage from family research is a form of censorship.”

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/5323798.stm

Appendix M

Just as marriage is coming back in vogue …

… more and more it is women who don’t want to wait around for

the “happily ever after”, writes Miranda Devine.

Miranda Devine. Sydney Morning Herald, August 24th 2006

[Emphasis added]

<http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/just-as-marriage-is-coming-back-in-vogue-133/2006/08/23/1156012607354.html>

WHEN 42-year-old mother of two Helen Kirwan-Taylor wrote a newspaper article last month saying she finds motherhood boring, she became the most vilified woman in Britain. “Sorry, but my children bore me to death” was the title of her article in the Daily Mail in which she confessed to hating reading bedtime stories and spending two hours texting her girlfriends while watching a movie with her children.

Readers condemned her as a selfish princess who shouldn’t be allowed to have children. But her confession also broke a taboo around the modern female’s dissatisfaction with family life. Whether it is offloading the kids to day care or filling their hours with structured activities, mothers may be losing the art of enjoying their children.

But to William Doherty, a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, Kirwan-Taylor’s crie de coeur may have been part of a healthy backlash against “excessive child-centredness”.

Doherty, who is in Sydney this week to speak at the National Christian Family Conference, is the marriage therapist who coined the term “overscheduled kids” to describe the phenomenon of children whose parents make them the centre of the universe.

But at a forum on marriage yesterday he explored the more fundamental problem of modern families – marriage breakdown.

It is not so much female unhappiness with motherhood that is causing problems for children, but the increasing willingness of mothers to walk out on marriage. As the latest Bureau of Statistics figures show, more than ever it is women who are the ones filing for divorce. The shift of power in marriages over the past 40 years has led to a stampede of women leaving the institution. How to put the genie back in the bottle without reversing female emancipation was the question hovering in the background at the forum.

Doherty says the first “divorce generation” of young people, now in their 20s and 30s, “still aspires to marriage, across all income levels”. We live in such an “atomised world” where wider community social connections and extended families are disappearing so there is more hunger than ever for the intimate institution of marriage. Certainly, a rise in marriage rates here and in the US, and corresponding dip in divorce rates, would suggest marriage is coming back into vogue.

Anne Hollonds, the chief executive of Relationships Australia, says she perceives a real desire by people to form a “solid, sustainable relationship”. There has been a 50% increase in inquiries about her pre-marriage education courses this year. “These are younger people in first-time marriages, who are highly educated and value education as a means to ensure success in later life.”

[NB it is contentious whether ‘walking out’ is a sign of empowerment or extended immaturity. It would be more accurate to state that the first “divorce generation” appeared 40 years ago and that they are now in their 60s. It would be more accurate to assert that the “first children of the divorce generation now in their 30s or early 40s.” – Ed]

Appendix N

Composition of Law Commission (2006)

The Law Commissioners are:

The Honourable Mr Justice Toulson,

Chairman

Mr Stuart Bridge

Professor Hugh Beale QC, FBA

Dr Jeremy Horder

Mr Kenneth Parker QC

The team that is planning to re-allocate assets in favour of female cohabitees is composed of the following:- [137]

Name

Occupation

Mr. Stuart Bridge

Family Law Commissioner

Female:

Judith Cairns

lawyer# 1

Julia Jarzabkowski

lawyer# 2

Joanna Miles

lawyer# 3

Cheryl Morris

lawyer# 4

Wendy Mathers

Research Assistant

Stella Rozanski

Research Assistant

Male:

Matthew Jolley

Team Manager

lawyer # 5

Joel Wolchover

Research Assistant

Michael Ashdown

Research Assistant

Daniel Robinson

Research Assistant

NB The age of staff members is not known

– – ooo0__ (o)__ 0ooo- –

Annex A

Canada has discarded its Common Law heritage in favour of a codified alternative where the apparent rights of every citizen is enshrined, protected and promoted

[Emphasis added]

Equality,as defined by:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Section 15 guarantees women and men equality before and under the law without discrimination. It applies to all legislation, policies and practices, and supersedes all other legislation. Equality does not mean treating all groups alike to achieve true equality; it is frequently necessary for policies and programs to treat different individuals and groups in different ways. Both the intent and the result of a policy should ensure the equality of women and men.

Policies that appear to be “neutral” can lead to discrimination if, in their application, they have a disproportionate impact or adverse effect on women.

. . . .and from the foreword

“Gender-based analysis is integral to the development of policies, programs and legislation. It should result in policies, programs and legislation that are inclusive and consistent with the spirit and content of the Charter. Gender-based analysis leads to informed policy-making and good governance.”

Source – “GENDER-BASED ANALYSIS: A GUIDE FOR POLICY-MAKING”, Canadian Gov’t.

Annex B

Table 1. Contact and Residence applications made under Sect 8 of the Children Act 1989.

Disposal of selected applicants in private law in all tiers of court, 2002

Nature of application

Applications withdrawn

Orders refused

Number

of‘No

Order’ orders

Orders
made

Parental responsibility

773

290

132

8,240

Section 8

Residence

1,536

158

431

30,006

Contact

2,373

518

945

61,356

Prohibited steps

300

40

77

8,889

Specific issue

207

33

67

2,940

Total

1,652

Source: Hansard, 24th May2004 : Column 1318W.

Table 2 Selected Children Act 1989 statistics for all tiers of courts in England & Wales

Residence orders

Contact orders

Year

Withdrawn

Refused

No. of ‘no orders’

Orders made

Withdrawn

Refused

No. of ‘no orders’

Orders made

1992

3,529

658

1,990

16,424

4,940

1,092

2,955

17,470

1993

4,720

972

2,239

22,264

7,962

1,956

4,044

27,780

1994

5,503

1,004

2,436

24,012

8,943

2,113

4,166

31,506

1995

5,427

806

2,345

25,376

1996

5,483

857

3,027

27,432

1997

5,042

837

1,578

26,883

1998

5,051

865

1,689

30,398

1999

4,093

619

1,116

21,286

2000

3,078

491

941

25,809

Source: Lord Chancellor’s Dept, Oct 25th 2001 (see LCD email 2/2/02).

Annex C

Divorce Rate 1971 – 2006

England and Wales rate at 26 year low

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=170

Table 3

This is a graph showing Divorce rate: England and Wales

In 2007 the provisional divorce rate in England and Wales fell to 11.9 divorcing people per 1,000 married population compared with the 2006 figure of 12.2. The divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1981.

For the sixth consecutive year both men and women in their late twenties had the highest divorce rates of all five-year age groups. In 2007 there were 26.6 divorces per 1,000 married men aged 25-29 and 26.9 divorces per 1,000 married women aged 25-29.

Since 1997 the average age at divorce in England and Wales has risen from 40.2 to 43.7 years for men and from 37.7 to 41.2 years for women, partly reflecting the rise in age at marriage.

One in five men and women divorcing in 2007 had a previous marriage ending in divorce. This proportion has doubled in 27 years: in 1980 one in ten men and women divorcing had a previous marriage ending in divorce. Sixty-nine per cent of divorces were to couples where the marriage was the first for both parties.

For 68 per cent of divorces in 2007, the wife was granted the divorce. For all divorces granted to an individual (rather than jointly to both), behaviour was the most common fact proven.

United Kingdom:

Between 2006 and 2007, the provisional number of divorces granted in the UK fell by 2.6 per cent to 144,220, from 148,141. This is the third consecutive fall in the number of UK divorces and the lowest number since 1977 (138,445). The figure is 20 per cent lower than the highest number of divorces, which peaked in 1993 (180,018).

The provisional number of divorces in England and Wales fell by 3.0 per cent to 128,534 in 2007. The number of divorces in Scotland decreased by 1.9 per cent from 13,014 in 2006 to 12,773 in 2007. Conversely, the provisional number of divorces in Northern Ireland increased to 2,913 in 2007, a 14 per cent increase from 2006 (2,565).

Annex D

Table 4. Number of Divorces made absolute – House of Commons Research Paper 96/42

1938

1943

1944

1945

1946

*

1947

*

1948

*

1949

1950

1951

9,970

14,887

18,390

24,857

15,634

60,254

43,698

34,856

30,870

28,767

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

33,922

30,326

28,027

26,816

26,265

23,785

22,654

24,654

23,868

25,394

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

28,935

32,052

34,868

37,785

39,067

43,093

45,794

51,310

58,239

74,437

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977*

1978

1979

1980

1981

119,025

106,003

113,500

120,522

126,694

129,053

143,667

138,706

148,301

145,713

Source: 1938 – 45 ‘Annual Abstract of Statistics’, (1953 – 1955), page 60.

[*] Special Procedures or ‘ Quickies’ – introduced in 1947 and again in 1977.

NB The 1947 record level of divorces was only surpassed in 1971

Table 5. Divorces made absolute 1962 to 1977. England & Wales[ NB Record level (1977) 120,053]

Table 6. Dissolution of marriage selected years.

Source: 1938 – 45 ‘Annual Abstract of Statistics’, (1953 – 1955), page 60. [ NB.1946 – 48 Quickies].[ NB 1937= 10,350 divorces]. Record level 60,254 (1947).

Annex E

Fig 19. Michigan (USA) 2002.

Appendix

The Household as the Foundation of Aristotle’s Polis

http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521849340&ss=fro

D. Brendan Nagle is professor of history, emeritus, at the University of Southern California.

Excerpt:

Among ancient writers, Aristotle offers the most profound analysis of the polis household and its relationship to the state. The household was not the family in the modern sense of the term, but a much more powerful entity with significant economic, political, social, and educational resources. The success of the polis in all its forms lay in the reliability of households to provide it with the kinds of citizens it needed to ensure its functioning. In turn, the state offered the members of its households a unique opportunity for them to flourish. This book explains how Aristotle thought household and state interacted within the polis.

“The understanding of the nature of the “state” as it is now emerging from various studies of the polis also helps to situate Aristotle’s oikos in its historical setting. Unlike the modern household, the oikos, as I argue in Chapter 1, was a far more powerful institution with far greater resources and correspondingly greater responsibilities than its modern counterpart. Just as modern citizenship is a weak reflection of polis citizenship, the modern household is but a shadow of the powerful institution that was the ancient polis household. This understanding may help throw into relief Aristotle’s assertion that the household, and not some intermediary association or the individual, was the fundamental building block of the polis.”

Although advocating an ideal, Aristotle also recognized that human flourishing could take place to some extent even under deviant constitutions, that is, in those poleis that fell short of the ideal. Even in these deficient states the household had its share of moral worth.


[1]“Alternatives to Marriage Project” http://www.unmarried.org The US Census for 2000 shows only 4% of ‘couples’ were not married despite 41% of American women aged 15-44 having cohabited at some point in their lives.

[3]Sharing Homes’, A Discussion Paper, (Law Com No 278), Nov 2002http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/lc278.pdf

[4]UN,“The World’s Women”, 1995 – Trends and Statistics.” (UN)

[5]Derisory because eligibility for Working Family Tax Credits extends up into the middle class realms of £50,000 pa. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/Budget2008/DG_072926

[6]After 1945 to rebuild the population child benefit was paid in full only after the 2nd child, not as at present, the first and then doubled for the second.

[7]See also http://www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/SPR148.aspi. Working Income Supplement – its Canadian predecessor which was abolished because it “diminished social cohesion because the lowest income families received lower benefits”

[8]Higher rate of suicide found in welfare children, By Leah Haines, The Dominion (Wellington), 30th May 2001http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,811154a11,FF.html

[9]Sharing Homes, Discussion Paper No 278, November 2002, p ix. http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/lc278.pdf

[10] Lord Filkin, the then Minister with responsibility for the area asked the Law Commission to review the law and to suggest possible reforms. The terms of reference for the project are contained in the Law Commission’s Ninth Programme of Law Reform, which is available athttp://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/9th_Prog_Final(2).pdf

[11]The proposed Bill would extend to registered partners rights and obligations relating to tax, pensions, social security, housing, succession and property.

[12]Section 9(1)(b) of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, Scotland, see para 5.26

[13] Soul of the Nation. BBC TV July 2000.

[14]‘Emperor’s New Clothes’,Dr. J Campion, Cheltenham Group, 1996.

[15]See books & articles by Charles Murray

[16]“Funding Fluid Families” R Whiston. Nov 1998, Appendix A “Rough Guide to the Cost of Single Parenthood”.

[17]John Milton (1608-1674) a Puritan poet. In a fervently religious period he wrote ‘Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce’ (1643).followed by ‘Areopagitica’ in 1644, which is a sweeping history of censorship from antiquity to modern times, establishing the democratic right of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.[ Shrew – an offensive term for a woman who is regarded as quarrelsome, nagging, or ill-tempered] http://www.thoemmes.com/404.asp?404;http://www.thoemmes.com/encyclopedia/swift.htm

[18] For 2006 purposes the definition of ‘Home Sharers’ has changed. It now also includes all “couples who do not live together and other, non-intimate home-sharers. In contrast, cohabiting couples is a relationship that entails a certain emotional intimacy and intensity, often accompanied by the parties sharing a view of their relationship as a joint venture in life.

[19]2006. Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).

[20]However, Thorpe still ordered that Mr Martin-Dye to pay 57% of his £37,000-a-year pension to his ex-wife, i.e. £21,000 pa and in return he will be paid £2,494 pa from her £5,800-a-year pension http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/26/ndiv26.xml

[21]“Promoting Inter-Agency Working in the Family Justice System” (LCD March 2002). Introduction written by Mr. Justice Thorpe; candidly admits the systemic failure of all the organs [national and regional court committees etc] designed to shore up the divorce and custody regime. Accepts the family court regime is in chaos, at the brink of collapse and that another public inquiry will magic away the problems.

[22]The fall of Sparta is linked by some to the transfer of real estate and wealth away from those who earned it and to wards those who were constitutionally denied property rights.

[23]“Building up assets and affection only aims a dagger at the heart of his family”, The Ill Eagle, edited by Ivor. Catt.

[24]Sprawson was made head of the Child Benefit Policy section of the Department for Work and Pensions (“the Department”) in 1999. His role was “to manage the development and maintenance of policy on Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance, and to give advice to ministers on those matters”.

[25]See Joseph Proudhon , French Anarchist, 1840.

[26]See ONS ‘Women’s Statistics’ – Blue book. See also ‘British Social Attitude Survey 1989’.

[27]At the 12% and 8% levels and using Fig 3 as a baseline the totals would be 56,000 and 13,200 respectively.

[28]Especially among women who both before and after the 1969 divorce reforms made up the majority (70%) of petitioners.

[29] Evidence of cases where money, property (matrimonial or otherwise) have been passed/awarded from wives to husbands in a divorce are rare to find.

[30]Sparta’s demise and defeat is thought to have been preceded by the transfer of real estate ownership from men to women.

[31]‘Sword and Wig’ by Robin Dunn. pp 201-231.see also 153, 163, 183, 241also ‘Divorce Matters’ by Ormrod LJ and the Booth Cttee

[32]BHPS- British Household Panel Survey, also ONS ‘Social Trends’, Page 45.

[33] Items 11, 12 and 13 derived from “Estimates of Cohabitation – dis-aggregating the cohort into sex, marital status and age groups”.ONS Population Trends, No95, Spring 1999. (p 9 – p13).

[34]Office for National Statistics; Focus on Gender; 8 January 2004

[35]Items 19 to 22 taken from Office for National Statistics; ‘Focus on Families’; 7th July 2005.

[36]“One ‘problem family’ costs £250,000 a year”, by Denis Campbell and Ned Temko, The Observer Sept 3, 2006 http://society.guardian.co.uk/socialexclusion/story/0,,1863841,00.html. [Criminal damage (by young offenders) costs £50 billion pa according to the British Insurers Assoc. -‘Counterblast’ BBC TV 10th Jan 2000.

[37]Farewell to the Family’, Morgan P, IEA and The Observer, Sept 3, 2006, ‘An estimated £1.9bn is spent on looking after the 60,000 children who are ‘in care’ and £30bn on benefits for those who are ‘high-risk and high-cost’.

[38]“Marriage decline means fewer women murdered”, The Independent (Britain) 22 February 2000http://www.independent.co.uk/news/UK/This_Britain/2000-02/marriage220200.shtml

[39]ONS; Focus on Gender; 8th January 2004. Before 1990 ONS never asked women questions about cohabiting and births.

[40]Central Statistics Office, ONS ‘Social Trends’ No 32 (2002) London, HMSO, pp. 42–43.

[41]Cohabiting” was not included in ONS surveys, e.g. The Family Expenditure Survey (FES) until 1990. (OPCS No 71).

[42]OPCS (ONS) “Population Projections” 1987-2027 Series – PP2, No 16. Life Expectancy.

[43]This type of data was not routinely collected prior to 1991 – “Population Trends” No 96, Summer 1999. “Cohabitation in Western Europe”.

[46]The Fisher equation of exchange states MV = PT, where M is the money supply x V , the velocity of circulation = P, the average price level x T, the number of transactions. In this instance we are referring to serial fathers and fathering. The collapse in the value of marriage is off-set by the number of cohabitation transactions.

[47]In the USA about 50% of White children born since 1980 will spend at least some of their live in single parent households the figure for Black children is 80%.- United Nations Children Fund

[48]‘In Life Without Father’, sociologist David Popenoe found the relationship between family structure and crime to be so strong that it erased the relationship between race and low income and crime.

[49]For this reason they are the ‘economic engine’ of every society. They consistently earn incomes 50% to 70% in excess of single men and single women (both sub-sets do not have the same imperative as the married man).See ‘Sexual Suicide’, by George Gilder, ‘Garbage Generation’ by Amneus and Patricia Hewitt’s MP mid 1990s IPPR paper (ratio 1.7:1.0).

[51]Trevor Phillips was appointed chair of the CRE on 1 March 2003 http://www.cre.gov.uk/

[52]Charles Murray and the Underclass’ (pub’d IEA), see also The advantages of social apartheid’, Sunday Times, April 03, 2005 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-1551824_1,00.htmland Sunday Times 13 Feb 2000.

[53]The rise in popularity of the far right, i.e. fascist parties, was detected as far back as 1997 by left wing socialist parties. Forexamplehttp://www.socialistaction.org.uk/archive/97racism.htm

[54]The Ritchie Report, Dec 2001, largely blamed deep-rooted segregation.

[55]For example, the Socialist Workers Party, the Anti-Nazi League, the Anti-Racist League, etc.

[56]“World Watch magazine,“…. men often abandon their wives and children because of increasing economic pressures” this is especially true in poor countries.

[57]This sub-set also tends to win more Victoria Crosses than any other.

[58]SMH’, or single mother households, is a term widely used in the USA and is comparable to our term Lone Parent or Single Mother or Unmarried Mother. All terms SMH, LP, SM and UM refer to unwed mothers but have also come to refer in some instances of ‘extra marital fertility’. These are births to once-married-women after her divorce and where the child is fathered not by her spouse but perhaps by a new boyfriend or cohabitee. This can creates a scenario where the first child is legitimate and a second that is not.

[59]The ‘family wage’ was defined in the post war era as one that allowed a married man to support his wife in her duties of home-making and caring for their children in reasonable comfort. See also “Farewell to the Family ?”, Morgan P (IEA).

[60]“Roads to Divorce”, Prof. Lawrence Stone.

[61]Ibid, “Roads to Divorce”, Prof. Lawrence Stone

[62]1961 oral birth control pill introduced. Abortion legalised in 1967. There are now 190,000 abortions in Britain every year.The average completed family size (CFS) has fallen from 2.4 to 2.1 and is at 1.9.

[63] Bristol Community Family Trust, an independent relationship education and research body, based his findings on ONS data on divorce and jointly registered births, together with ONS research on the ratio between breakdown rates for married and unmarried families

[64]1969 No-Fault divorce. 1976 Cohabitation laws. 1991 Child Support system. made synchronised appearances in California, USA, New Zealand, Australia, UK, etc, etc.

[65]New Zealand Gov’t http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/other/1998/comparison/default.htm. See also Stuart Birks, Director of Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University, NZ http://econ.massey.ac.nz/cppe/issues/sop25sub.htm

[66]Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936”, Wendy Zeva Goldman, 1993. A reviewby Christine D. WorobecJournal of Social History 1995

[67]The fate was grizzly of those jurists and legal activists who drafted the legislation repressing family life. Fro example, Alexander Goikhbarg, Aron Sol’ts, Evgenii Pashukanis, and Aleksei Kiselev were all purged in the 1930s for their drafting of the anti-family legislation of 1918, 1925 and 1926.

[68]Central Executive Committee and the Sovnarkom (Soviet of Peoples Commissariat),1926

[69]This is hotly contended by some who cite the enormity of the Nat Insurance Fund by 2030 and population upswing in 2015.

[70]Source, Brian Jenkins, an actuary, Toronto, Canada, Monday, January 2, 2006

[72]In part the Irish Civil War was a ‘class war’. In that regard it was distinct from the Spanish Civil War. The enemy was seen as the large landowners known as the Anglo-Irish because of their historical and wealth connections to Britain and the often impoverished Protestants (Loyalists). In the devastation, over 190 “stately homes” and the estates of the Irish landed classes were laid waste. Arguably, it bears similarities to the Congo/Rwanda conflicts.The cost of the war crippled the fledgling Irish Free State for many years. In return for not having to pay its agreed share of the Imperial Debt (under the 1921 Treaty) estimated at between £5m and £19m, e.g. for Irish pensioners and war pensions, the Free State agreed to waive all its claim to Nationalist areas in the predominantly protestant Northern Ireland (i.e. Ulster). A pledge later disregarded by the IRA.

[73]Seven Years in the Lives of British Families’, report produced by the Institute for Social and Economic Research

[74]See “Marriage Lite”. by Dr. Patricia Morgan, pub’d IEA

[75]The CSA – a burden on the state”, byRobert Whiston. See Appendix D, “Rough Guide to The Cost of Single Parenthood”, Pub’d UKMM. Nov 1998.

[76]Family Matters, Sept 2000, FMI publication, by David Lindsay ACA in co-operation with data from Robert Whiston FRSA, calculated to be in the realms of £30 billion when indirect costs were included.

[77]Gresham‘s law is commonly stated: “Bad money drives out good.”

[78]A prolific author popularly known for ‘A History of Western Philosophy’.

[79]Sword and Wig”, sometimes also cited as Maurice (Morris) Finer.

[80] Currently the JSB have 3 days training before getting the ’family ticket’ – in 1976 there was no training.

[81]Sexual Suicide’, George Gilder, 1973. see also “Men and Marriage”

[82]Usually accepted as 1189. A time prior to the keeping of official legal records in England. (reign of Richard I).

[83]Ecclesiastical and Consistory Courts had always dealt with divorce matters but in the new colonies there were none. TheGovernor of Nova Scotia (1758) first used powers to divorce granted by London http://www.lcc.gc.ca/research_project/01_close_1-en.asp#_ednref65

[85] See Wentersdorf, p. 103. See also ‘Road to Divorce’, Stone L. Most divorce case hearings were not to dissolve a marriage but to validate it against contrary assertions of clandestine marriage.

[86]The lack of formalities or the need for parties to witness the event led to couples eloping across the border to marry at, for instance, Gretna Green.

[87]Breach of promise’ was formerly a Tort See < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breach_of_promise > and Appendix G.

[88]Married Woman’s Property Act 1882, is often cited, wrongly, as a break through or starting point for women’s equal rights. In fact it had always been possible for a-women to own and control property. The 1882 Act merely consolidated preceding Acts, e.g. 1870 Act, confirming that status. Omitted in all commentaries is that it was designed by rich women exclusively for wealthily women, and was never intended to be emancipatory.

[89]Ecclesiastical and Consistory Courts were swept away by the judicial reforms of the Judicature Act 1873.

[90]Broadly speaking, in day light hours to avoid kidnapping and forced marriages being later held by an ecclesiastical court to be valid ‘in the eyes of God.See ‘irregular marriages’.

[91]As in the ‘Fleet River’ London, a notorious area, which enters the Thames near Blackfriars Bridge. Fleet marriages became a public scandal. They were performed without formalities, by disreputable parsons imprisoned in the Fleet Prison.

[94] Lord Justice Robin Dunn commenting on the pre-1969 era reports “maintenance for wives was usually wholly inadequate for their needs. `Ancillaries’ as they were called were dealt with by the registrars ….The so-called `one-third rule’, which fixed the wife’s maintenance at one-third of the husband’s gross income, was applied more or less rigorously by the registrars, although they were always at pains to say that the rule did not exist”.

[95]14,000 maintenance and separation’ orders pa for families of, say, 4 children = 55,000 fatherless children.

[97]Judicial Statistics Annual Report 2004 show that in 2002 the number who filed for divorce but then changed their mind was greater than the total number who were granted divorce in the years 1954 to 1962 (177,223 filedless 147,465 granted = 29,758 withdrawals).

[98]Lord Justice Robin Dunn, “Sword and Wig”,(1992). ‘The Divorce Court 1948-62’, p 141

[99]Breach of promise remedies can found in many of the world jurisdictions. It dates from the medieval era but the mid 20th century saw it slowly phased out in many countries. The basis was that a man’s promise of engagement to marry a woman was considered a legally binding contract. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breach_of_promise

[100]The Kitty Mellish case (1710-1747) is an exception – Court of Arches and Court of King’s Bench – a libertine lover of the daughter of da Costa a rich Anglo-Jewish tycoon, sued her for £100,000.

[101]Seehttp://www.brandeslaw.com/common_law_marriage/clmart.htm .It might be more accurate to say that as of July 4, 1776 there was no common law of marriage outside England, i.e. the colonies.

[102]Court room dramas centering on common-law marriages still occur – usually in regard child support. One famous case is Jennings v Hurt, the Supreme Court 1989.Ms. Jennings, who gave birth to a son while living with Mr. Hurt She said they had “a spiritual marriage, that we were married in the eyes of God,” while he was filming the movie, “The Big Chill” there in 1982 and 1983. Mr. Hurt obtained a divorce from the actress Mary Beth Hurt, circa Jan 1983. Apart from questions of possible adultery and child support, if Miss Jennings view is to be believed there is a possible hint of bigamy.

[103]Charles Dickens, FRSA author (7th February 1812 – 9th June 1870).

[105]The civil system (secular) took over the Canon Law of the Ecclesiastical Courts after 1857.

[106]The 19th century legal commentator, Sir Henry Sumner-Maine, described marriage as a “status” with a recognised role within society. But even then, he noted a slide toward a contractual dimension – in harmony with the Industrial Age. What would he make of it now in the ‘Post Industrial Age’ ?

[107]Divorce Matters’ was published that year. It urged yet more post-marital property re-assignment. Judicial consensus can be gauged by the fact it was co-authored Roger Ormrod, a leading family law judge.

[108]She was elected Principal of and St Anne’s College in 1991. She is married to a solicitor, she has a student daughter and is active in matters concerning women, divorce, higher education, careers, childcare and student welfare. Ruth Deech initiated Oxford University’s Equal Opportunity Committee and has been a member of various university committees concerned with student health, childcare and freedom of speech. As chair of the Admissions Board she biased Oxford away from those with high qualifications and towards those of children from state schools. She is a Trustee of Jewish Continuity and a Governor of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

[109] New Zealand scrapped its Air Force strike capability in 2001. In Dec 2005 Defence Minister Mark Burton announced thatthe sale of the 34 aircraft to the U.S. company Tactical Air Services for 155 million dollars ($109.9 million) and was an ‘excellent outcome’. – Agence France-Presse, www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1096702&C=airwar

[110]‘Divorce Dissent: Dangers in Divorce Reform’, Centre for Policy Studies, London, (23 pages), Jan 1994. pp 7 – 15.

[111]Mr. Leigh, MP, (Cons) Family Law Bill, Hansard, 24 Apr 1996 : Column 505.

[112]A feature of the Bill was enforced mediation and reaching a settlement within 12 months.

[113]‘Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows’, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare – a shipwrecked man finds himself seeking shelter beside a sleeping monster.

[114]An informal conversation between Lord Scarman and Robert Whiston, circa 1995.

[115]‘Divorce Dissent: Dangers in Divorce Reform’, Centre for Policy Studies, London, Jan 1994 (p 12).

[116]Divorce Dissent: Dangers in Divorce Reform’, p 10

[117]Hansard 30 Nov 1995 : Column 734http://www.oxford.anglican.org/bishop/lords/family_law.html[Church backs proposals to give unmarried similar legal rights as married couples, Oxford Diocesan Publications Ltd. Oct 2006].

[119]See D Borrillo, “The ‘Pacte Civil de Solidarité’ in France” in ‘Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A study of National, European and International Laws’ (2001) 475, 476.‘Egalitie’ bars special legislation applying only to minority.

[121]Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937) a leading Italian Marxist. http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-gram.htm

[122]“Family Matters: Family Breakdown and its Consequences”, Morgan P, analysis of NZ & Maori marriage and cohabitation.

[123]Receipt of AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependant Children) is 1,700% more frequent among illegitimate children of never married mothers than among legitimate children raised by intact married couples. Source: Robert Rector, US

Congress. [ AFDC, UK equiv. is Income Support]http://www.house.gov/ways_means/humres/106cong/6-29-99/6-29rect.htm

[124]“Family Matters: Family Breakdown and its Consequences”, Morgan P, (p 5). To be termed a ‘family’ implies 2 parents with children, connected by marriage and blood and spread over 2 to 3 generations. The term ‘married couples’ implies childlessness. Also US Census has a ‘non-family’ category for economic units of one parent.

[125] “Experiments in Living: the Fatherless Family”, by Rebecca O’Neill (pub. Civitas) Sept 2002.

[126]“Reaping the whirlwind”. by Melanie Phillips,Daily Mail, 17 March 2008http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles- new/?p=573

[127]Break-ups can spark self harm’, by Michelle Paine, The Mercury (Tasmania), 6 May 2006.

http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,19037953%255E3462,00.html

[128]Germany alone would produce over 100,000 Maxim machine guns during Word War 1

[129] Now Professor of Social Policy, University of York and CASE Associate. E-mail kk500@york.ac.uk. CASE was established in October 1997.

[130]Kathleen Kiernan “The Legacy of Parental Divorce” CASE, 1997.“…. dissolution will impact psychologically on any children – even of the tenderest ages“.

[131]A report by Helen Wilkinson, and, Geoff Mugan examining trends in the 16 to 34 age groups using the British Household Panel Study In 1950, the average married man with two children paid no income tax on his wages if heearned less than 105% of the “national average industrial wage” – Demos. (Today, it is about 35%)

[132]Hansard, HC Debate 08 June 1989, vol 154 cc207-8W 207W 208W. A husband and wife will each have their own personal allowance and the new system will continue to recognise marriage through the married couple’s allowance. The personal allowance and the married couple’s allowance will together be equivalent to the present married man’s allowance – Norman Lamont MP, Chancellor.

[133]When in 1998 it was calculated that the cost of subsidising single mothers was £11 billion pa (at 1996 prices), the figure was utterly rejected by Gov’t. However, a few years later, in 2000, the magnitude was confirmed by David Lindsay’s

studyThe Cost of Family Breakdown. Whitehall took several more years to admit the true costs as exceeding £10 billion per annum. This figure when combined with other Social Security Benefits dwarfs even the Defence budget.

[134]“Sharing Homes; A Discussion Paper”, examined the property rights of those who share homes. It covered not only “couples”, married or unmarried, but also friends, relatives and others who may be living together for reasons of

companionship or care and support. http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/lc278.pdf

[135]Based on John Haskey’s findings which have not gone unchallenged – see “Cohabitation in Great Britain: past, present and future trends – and attitudes” (2001). ONS ‘Population Trends’ 103, 4

Advertisements

3 responses to “Cohabitation in Britain – a Legal and Political Jihad Against Men

  1. Pingback: UK - Legal and Political Jihad Against Men « Equal Parenting @ Ration Shed

  2. Pingback: American Statistics « Discussing cohabitation law reform in the UK

  3. Pingback: Cohabitation in the UK – A Legal and Political Jihad Against Males « Robert Whiston

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s