Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Family & Society Meltdown

The fundamental change in individual attitude and behaviour that is required, is in our assumption that the way in which we conduct our private lives in relation to both the production and parenting of children or the break-up a parental relationship, is a private matter which only affects the individuals directly concerned.

Mr Justice Coleridge speaking in 2009 (speech downloadable in full from here). 
Here is his earlier speech at the Resolution National Conference in 2008 in which he said this: 
Without being in any way over dramatic or alarmist my prediction would be, looking back and seeing where we have come from and projecting forward on the present trajectory, that the effects of family breakdown on the life of the nation and ordinary people in this country will, within the next 20 yrs be as marked and as destructive as the affects of global warming. We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps. For what is the point of pouring resources into the physical protection of society if its mental health is so damaged and undermined that life for many is so miserably unhappy that it is hardly worth living anyway.
Up and down the land, day in and day out, thousands of families are trooping through hundreds of courts in front of hundreds of judges seeking their assistance to resolve family disputes. High Court. County Court, Family proceedings court. High Court judges, Circuit judges, District judges and magistrates. All are inundated with cases. Thousands upon thousands of children are involved. Both in the public law Care system because their parents cannot cope (or worse are guilty of abusing their own or their step children) and in the private law system because their parents cannot sort out their disputes when they separate, without some help from the system.
It is a never ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress. For those of us involved in it on a daily basis it is very demanding and at times stressful work.

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