By Ivor Catt
I have eight years of experience, mostly representing myself, in litigation in English courts at all levels. I was much in the secret family courts. I sued my employers twice, once in the Queens Bench of the High Court. I myself was sued in Chancery in the High Court for £100,000, a further £50,000, etc. etc., where I represented myself.
Although I won cases, I concluded that the English courts today are hopelessly warped at all levels. A litigant needs to advance through them as quickly as possible. Only when he has exhausted the English ‘system’ is he allowed to proceed to Europe, where I assumed things would be better. Certainly, they could not be worse.
Recently, I read John Campion in the U.K. Men’s Movement website. According to him, the European courts are as politically correct, and show the same contempt for the law, as do our English judges in our secret family courts. If he is right, then it follows that today, all litigation is a waste of time for an Englishman, and should be shunned.
All of the above means that some of the most fundamental human rights have been abrogated in England today for some classes of people, even more so, and more routinely, than in Hitler’s or in Stalin’s empires. A key to the abrogation is the increasing secrecy of the English courts. Edmund Heward, Chief Master of the Supreme Court (Chancery Division), on page 117 of his book “Lord Denning“, pub. Weidenfield & Nicholson 1991, says that they act in secret in ninety per cent of high court work, something Denning opposed
In spite of the above, I plead strongly for continuing study, and understanding, of the national and international legal ‘system’, even though today, English judges have a contempt for it, or at least for the small part of it that they know and understand.
Some years ago, I discovered that nowhere, in English or in International Law, is a child’s right of access to its parent enshrined. It is often estimated that one quarter of children in England have lost all contact with their parent. This estimate separates us from the tyranny of Stalin or Hitler, which was selective. (Even though English judges would ignore such a principle, were it stated anywhere, it remains important that it should be stated.) [dec98. Article 26 of the 10dec48 U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, clause (3), says; “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” After the depredations on our most fundamental concepts about social order by radical feminists, we need such a “default” statement by the U.N. that “A child has a right of access to its parent” before we can begin to retrieve society from its present acceleration towards catastrophe. Although our courts will show contempt for such a U.N. Declaration, at least we will then clearly know who is breaking the law – our judges. “The best interests of the child” argument for defying this U.N. statement must then be argued before a jury, in open court. That is the road back from ruin.]
The most likely place outside England, for me to find an assertion of a child’s right of access to its parent was in the 1989 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Lo and behold, it is not there, which astounded me. (Adrienne Burgess was misled by a text book summary of the Declaration. The original Article 9 has to be read, not second hand summaries, to see the point clearly.)
Lynette Burrows, in her 1998 book The Fight for the Family, discusses radical feminists from England who were very influential in the drafting of the 1989 United Nations Declaration. These neo-Marxist, destructive women replaced Capitalism by Patriarchy in Marxist dogma. According to Burrows, and according to Erin Pizzey, they want the state, not the parent, to own a child. Burrows goes further to say that the Children’s Rights campaign is actually a campaign to wrest children from their parents and put them under the control of the state, as did some totalitarian regimes. However, she hopes to discredit the small but politically effective Children’s Rights movement in the following way. Following a strongly hostile public attitude to paedophiles, paedophiles have been subsumed into the Children’s Rights movement. They then influence it to weaken parental control by such reforms as anti-smacking and reducing the Age of Consent in its various forms, thus easing access to children for paedophiles and homosexuals. (She says that whereas only 2% of the population are homosexual, 35% of child molesters are homosexual.)
Why is a child’s right of access to its parent not enshrined in various documents including the 1989 UN. Declaration? I feel that Burrows’ idea of a conspiracy by radical feminists, egged on by paedophiles, in its drafting, so as to make the state replace the parent, is unnecessary. In any case, radical feminists reject the traditional concept of parent, seeing the greatest threat to a child as its own father. That is, they have come to believe their own fraudulent statistics – that most sexual molestation and battery of a child is by its own father. Pizzey insists that most child molesters are women, and was correctly angry when I incorrectly countered by saying that women have more access to children. As she insisted, “A child molester is a child molester.” Millions of pounds of government and Foundation money goes to groups who generate false statistics for political reasons – for instance Joanna Foster of the BT Forum, but there is no money for objective scholars and researchers to establish the truth, and if they do, they cannot publish. Our media are under the control of bitter, sexual dysfunctional, power-hungry radical feminists, intent on falsifying the picture. Erin Pizzey said that all statistics in this field since the 1970’s have been falsified.
Let us analyse itchhy the 1989 UN Declaration only asserts a child’s right to “family life” [preamble], but omits its basic right, of access to its parent. Coming in the wake of decades of incessant father- and husband- bashing in all the media, it makes good sense. If the greatest threat to a child is its own father, then it follows that the UN Declaration should guarantee to the child only the “good” part of its family; that is, that part of its “family life” which will remain after the father has been excluded, as he now is in 50% of families in England.
Two points arise from this. The first is the critical importance of statistics over outcome. In spite of censorship, the horrendous statistics on outcome for a child cut off from its father are at least leaking out.
The second point is much more fundamental. Radical feminists have secured all the funding, and all the media. They have then used their position to promote numerous inversions, including the inversion of the incest taboo. They have “established” that, far from being a child’s chief protector and support, its father becomes the chief threat to a child’s safety. The New Witch, a chapter in my 1996 book The Hook and the Sting, discusses the full scale demonization of the father. This false inversion of reality is so fundamental that it over-stresses the conceptual framework of civil rights, which has never before been challenged at so basic a level. We will now have to structure the philosophy of civil rights more carefully than we did before society was attacked in such a fundamental way by these revolutionary feminists.
After the radical feminists, three layers of civil rights have to be defined for the first time. The highest level, unstated in law or in international declarations, would include the right to become the director of a company, the right to sell ice cream on the beach, and the right to put up a tent in a national park. These are superficial, questionable rights.
The middle layer of civil rights is enshrined in case law, statute law, European Conventions and UN Declarations, for instance on the Rights of the Child or the Rights of Women.
The lowest, most fundamental layer of civil rights was so obvious that they remained unstated. These include the right to an adequate flow of air to breath; the right of access to drinking water; the right of access to a parent. The upsets being promoted by radical feminism are so very basic that our law and our conventions provide no defence for society.
Radical feminism, although very destructive, is so inchoate that the very idea of a hierarchy of rights, described above, is beyond them. Although to some degree she is now a lapsed radical feminist, Adrienne Burgess’s July 1998 letter to me demonstrates an inability to distinguish between the rights at different levels.
To illustrate. A child has a right to access to education. It also has a right to access to drinking water. In the desert, with a child in your care and education and drinking water at the same distance, we all know that you take the child to the drinking water.
When obfuscating after her error in interpreting the 1989 UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child, Adrienne Burgess demonstrated an inability to distinguish between higher and lower levels in the hierarchy of rights. She suggested that a child should not have access to its father in case the father sexually molested it. She failed to comprehend the concept of a default position, that a child has a fundamental right of access to its parent – something not even discussible thirty years ago, before fatherhood was demonised, when our society had not yet begun to disintegrate – intellectually and morally as well as socially, as Adrienne Burgess’s letter demonstrates that it has today. She gave the keynote speech at the AGM or the IPPR, the think tank closest to Tony Blair, which published his books. It is highly significant that she is confused at such a fundamental level. She shows how far we have lost “the tacit dimension“, a phrase in Michael Polanyi‘s book, and the title of a series of lectures he gave, later published as a book.
The conjunction of the issue of a child’s right of access to its parent with the question of whether its parent is a good parent, illustrates the parlous state our intellectual elite has reached. We would rightly be appalled if Hitler or Stalin confiscated all children, only to be returned when each parent severally demonstrated his quality as a parent to a tribunal. Adrienne’s muddle is so profound that it is difficult to analyse. Further, her muddle is society’s muddle. The confusion she demonstrated is pandemic. For instance, with no proven charges against me, when I had sued for divorce and gained it, a judge asked me if I was willing to meet with my younger daughter under supervision. I refused, because to agree would have meant that I supported a re-definition of the nature of parenthood and the nature of the state, such re-definition obviously bound to lead to general catastrophe. It is elsewhere described as the state replacing the father as parent.
Patricia Morgan says that where such experiments have been undertaken, as in Israel and Russia, they have been abandoned.
The reason why the state is not able, except in extremis, to come between child and parent is so basic as to be difficult to analyse and discuss. This does not exclude the state’s ability, even its duty, to isolate or punish a small minority of parents who are delinquent, or a small minority of citizens who are members of criminal gangs. It is when, as in England today, the state undertakes to adjudicate in general over who may or may not carry out their duties as parent, that society collapses. This is because a state is the highest expression of loyalty and support. The loyalty bonds start, at their lowest level, between husband and wife, then between parent and child, rising through local community and local loyalty. The state is an amalgam of nuclear families amalgamated into extended families amalgamated into local and then into larger communities. By definition, if the state claims to claim general power to disqualify more than a tiny minority of parents, let alone one quarter of fathers as it does today in England, then the state is not a state, but rather the tool of a destructive vested minority which is using the state to destroy the state.
Polanyi writes, “We know more than we can tell.” Another subculture speaks of “From the known to the unknown.” It is the lack of any known; their lack of any clear contact with civilization as it has gradually developed, that puts radical feminists beyond the pale.
Let us illustrate the way in which radical feminism is outside our culture. Let us suppose that, using any criterion of success in later life – wealth, Nobel prizes, OBE’s, etc., it was found that if a child had its middle finger surgically removed, his life outcome was significantly improved, statistically. We would not surgically remove fingers. Without any discussion, we all know that unnecessary surgery on our children is a dead option. This is the kind of way in which radical feminists, using falsified statistics, destroy the conceptual framework on which society is based. The fraudulent statistic, that homosexuals are less of a threat to children than their own fathers, touted by radical feminists, goes to the very core of all our concepts. Thinking that these assertions are merely useful political makeweights, radical feminists know not what they do. They do not know that an array of accepted assumptions has grown up over the centuries. Their disagreement with one or more assumptions – for instance that a child is the responsibility of its parents – should have been overtly stated and then defended. What happened was just polemic and the tossing around of false statistics. It is the philosophical incompetence of radical feminism which makes it so destructive. Having no properly organized philosophical base, it will only be a short term aberration. But it will cause massive damage to two generations during its brief, discordant reign.
I will now attempt a further journey into the tacit dimension. When in charge of a child in the desert, with education and drinking water at equal distance in opposite directions, we all know that one takes the child to the drinking water. This does not negate the principle of the child’s having two fundamental rights – to education, and to drinking water. We all know that there exists a hierarchy of rights, and before radical feminism, these were all tacitly agreed.
The fatal flaw, which will finally destroy radical feminism, is their failure to provide any role for young men in their new Society. This will split feminists down the middle. The new 100 women Labour MP’s will split into two groups – those who have sons, and those who do not. The arrant absurdity of the sex war promoted by radical feminists is that many women have sons. How can one fight a war while at the same time giving birth to one’s enemy?
Although the broad rump of women remain indifferent to the escalating crisis, no amount of media manipulation will convince women that, reversing the ancient tragedy in China, they should only have daughters, and that they should abort their sons. So the days of radical feminism are numbered. The sooner we regain control of at least part of our highly feminised media, the less will be the damage done to our youth. However, I fear that two generations, not merely one, will be seriously damaged.
The Lords and Commons Committee on the Family, chaired by Lord Ashbourne, published an excellent report, Family Matters, on 23 July 1998. On its publication, the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, attended the Committee to comment on the report and also to make a major announcement. Before his visit, I pressed my friend Robert Whiston, who is a member of the committee, to try to get the Home Secretary to define the term “parent”. Robert countered by saying that firstly, they would try to get Jack Straw to give his definition of the term “family”. In the event, Straw did neither. However, the fact that even to define terms, as we now know, is Politically Incorrect, shows how rapidly, and how far, we have sunk into a morass of destructive confusion.
The correct way to handle a social or political issue is as follows. First, all parties debate and agree on the meaning of their primary terms. Then, objective research is undertaken, leading to statistical results to be agreed by all parties. Thirdly, policy alternatives are debated on the basis of the now agreed facts, described by the agreed terms.
In our present problem, the collapse of the family, this procedure is not followed. The party who is to be demonised and excluded, the father/husband, is subjected to a barrage of damaging polemic 24 hours a day in all the media. Polemic is easier if terms are not agreed and research statistics are unknown or falsified.
- (1) Thoughts: All that blusters is not power, Ivor Catt, February 1998
- (2) Further thoughts: The Retreat Strategy, Ivor Catt, 13 October 1998
St. Albans AL3 4JR
Ivor Catt 04dec98