Civil rights campaigners forced a change in Church policy on kids rights and brought their message home to a “lying” Tory lawyer this Christmas.
The ‘New Fathers for Justice’ group, which regularly organises protests in Cornwall, struck at the home of Minister of Justice Ken Clarke yesterday (Christmas).
They daubed the former barrister’s house in West Bridgford, Notts, with the slogan ‘Fatherless Christmas’, and pasted protest posters.
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury waxed lyrical about the value the Church placed on fatherhood – after protestors threatened to protest at Canterbury Cathedral.
Lambeth Palace, the established Church’s head office, put out a statement on behalf of Dr Rowan Williams which reads:
“The Archbishops thoughts and prayers are with all those who cannot be with their families at this time.
“The image of fatherhood is at the heart of Christianity as can be seen in the loving and dependable God of the New Testament.
“The Church recognises the significance of the fathers role in the life of a child.
“Christian communities around the country are working to support families in need, whether providing practical help, like parent toddler groups or courses in parenting skills, or simply as a human network helping to share responsibilities and encourage all human relationships to flourish.”
Fat Tory Ken Clarke found his lawn adorned with abandoned toys, a Santa suit, and a Coffin on Christmas morning.
Family rights groups nationwide are furious that after years of promising reform, the coalition Government conducted a ‘whitewash’ review of reviled ‘family law’.
Clarke’s Ministry is directly responsible.
A spokesman for the politician called the words ‘Fatherless Christmas’ “distasteful”.
She said: “‘There were some distasteful slogans painted on the garage doors of Mr Clarke’s home early on Christmas Day.
‘Once they were discovered, they were cleaned up.We are not treating it a big deal.”
West Country New Fathers for Justice spokesman Richard Adams responded: ‘Ken Clarke may well find the slogans of our group ‘distasteful’.
“We find the denial of equal rights to fathers, and the denial to children of their right to a family life, to be yet more distasteful, and worth protesting against.
“Why does he keep lying that fathers have equal rights everyone in the real world knows it’s patently untrue?
“He seems to live in some world of his own and we hope this Christmas protest will wake him up a bit.”
Mr Adams went on: “After years of fishing for our votes saying they would reverse the brutal policies of the so-called ‘family’ court, the Tories have done nothing.
“Norgrove’s review was a ludicrous sham, dictated by the people responsible for child abuse and persecution the new Government promised to stamp out.
“We’d like nothing more than to be simply with our families, and happy in the knowledge our children would grow up with equal rights, this Christmas.
“But until anything is done – this is the only way anyone takes any notice of our message.”
Mr Adams said the statement from Rowan Williams – made as protestors threatened to storm the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral – was ‘a step in the right direction’.
But he added: “The Church needs to act. Words will no longer do.”
Truro Dad Stuart Chilcott is currently awaiting trial for his protest at Truro Cathedral in support of 50/50 rights for the children of seperated parents.
Stuart is a member of the New Fathers for Justice group, who share the same political goals as all the other civil rights and ‘Fathers4′ groups in Britain.
They seek a legal presumption of 50/50 contact for a child with their parents if they split up, and the abolition of the deeply controversial, undemocratic secret court system that still exists within the ‘family’ division despite forty years of protest.
In July, a New Fathers for Justice activist dressed as Batman also targeted Mr Clarke, who has the power to reform or abolish the entire family division.
The protested staged an ‘arrest’ of the Justice Secretary outside his home, saying his actions were on behalf of all children stopped from seeing their fathers.
In October, five protestors camped out on the roof of Deputy PM Nick Clegg in the same cause.