Targeting dads is disaster

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Father’s Day isn’t my favourite day of the year. Me and my own had a turbulent relationship to say the very least.

Nevertheless he’s still my dad. He’s been present throughout my life and he’s taught me a great deal.

My parents separated when I was less than a year old. I love them both dearly and have never seen my feelings go unreciprocated. Notwithstanding this, they made me the person I’ve become. The groundbreaking news is I don’t have an ASBO!

David Cameron said last week that “families are the rocks upon which our lives are built. When fathers aren’t there for their kids, those children are more likely to live in poverty, fail at school, end up in prison and be unemployed”.

Bet he’d love to meet me. I’ll write to him in charcoal from prison once I’ve sat my Key Stage 2 English exam with the rest of the inmates...

Legal Aid will soon not be available to parents who disagree about their children. Best for society? It must be if that’s what the Government has decided?

Cameron said the Government “has a responsibility to the taxpayer to do all they can to bring fathers back into the lives of children”.

So why is the system mounting an arsenal against absent parents? And why is the PM aiming his revolver towards fathers alone?

Women weren’t beset upon this year on Mother’s Day.

Staying together might have been disastrous for some people. Most parents aren’t aware of their rights following separation.

Parental responsibility is lost on your average Joe, custody and access have been replaced by terms the public aren’t aware of and the legal process remains a vague impression in the minds of those who need its help the most.

The Coalition wishes to reignite our sense of ‘family’. Our leader says “Britain’s fathers will determine if we succeed.”

So why is seeing your child at weekends being made even harder to do?

Many fathers out there wriggle out of responsibilities to their children. I support Cameron’s recital that it’s far easier to become a father than to be one.

Same goes for mothers. We might all wish to tarnish such individuals with leftovers at the bottom of the tin we’ve used to paint drink drivers scarlet. It doesn’t help the parents who do care though.

Court orders will still be available if you can afford it. Those who can’t? I’m sure the years their children spend getting a card from daddy at Christmas because that’s all he could afford will be glad to know the country did all it could to celebrate and embrace the responsibilities it has to families, and didn’t just try to save money.

I don’t have the answer. Neither do No10.