“No one who sits in the courts day in and day out, especially the family and criminal courts, as I have done for 42 years, can fail to develop a keen understanding of how our society has changed and is changing...
As a family judge, I have witnessed at first hand the social revolution of the past 40 years. Marriage has come to be seen as unfashionable, serial fatherhood is widespread and an ever-growing number of children are no longer brought up in stable households…
Next April, I will retire from the courts in order to devote more time to the Marriage Foundation, a think-tank I set up to champion marriage and promote the long-term stability it provides, something our courts no longer seem able or willing to do. The results of this failure to protect marriage are indeed devastating…
Only 50 per cent of children in Britain today are living with both parents by the time of their 16th birthday… New scientific evidence has shown that children's brains are profoundly, perhaps even irreversibly, affected if they are exposed to high levels of parental conflict at a very young age…
The fact is that the single most vital factor, by far, in the successful development of children is a committed, healthy relationship between their parents. Study after study shows that all other factors, such as wealth, schooling and social class, are much less important. And the consequences of family breakdown contribute to many of the most worrying social problems faced by our children: indiscipline in schools, drug-taking, behavioural problems, gang violence, poor mental health, lack of achievement in exams and failure in the job market.
These children lack more than money. They lack parents who take responsibility for seeing them raised well. Although parents who split up endure huge amounts of stress, it is their children who are the real casualties of all this instability and conflict. It is this poverty of accountability which costs them. These children suffer because they are not given clear rules or boundaries, have few secure attachments at home and little understanding of the difference between right and wrong...
I believe that the responsibilities that come with having a child are so great that no couple should ever start a family without seriously considering giving their child the stability and commitment of marriage... So when marriage is decried as an outdated institution, irrelevant to the fluid freedoms and choices of the modern world, I find myself tearing my hair out at such a hopelessly blinkered attitude. Far from being old-fashioned, marriage is an engine for social progress, the most effective structure ever invented for nurturing children and building social solidarity.
From the 18th century onwards, only about 5 per cent of couples cohabited while unmarried. That statistic remained stable until a dramatic change in the Eighties, when the rate of children born to single or unmarried parents began to soar…
Today, almost 50 per cent of children are born to single or unmarried parents, a development that would have been unthinkable only two generations ago. Single parenthood, too, has undergone a rapid expansion, with the number of families headed by a lone parent rising in Britain from fewer than one million in 1980 to almost two million now. There can be no doubt that by far the greatest cause of today’s social anarchy, as I am afraid I often describe it, is the decline in marriage.Wow! A senior judge who appears to be 100 per cent on the side of common sense, common decency, the British people and their children. In a way that absent dads and that champion of single motherhood and fashionable parenting alternatives, Harriet Harman, (deputy leader of the Labour party) wouldn't be.
The traditional married structure that once encouraged parents to stay together is being gradually superseded by a free-for-all. The concepts of sacrifice and long-term responsibility have slowly evaporated. The consequences of family breakdown contribute to many of the most worrying social problems faced by our children.
The fact that the increase in cohabitation, at the expense of marriage, is the driving force behind family disintegration is graphically illustrated by official statistics. Of those parents who are still together by the time their children reach their mid-teens, 94 per cent will be married. Only 6 per cent will be unmarried parents.
As our recent research shows, cohabiting parents account for only 19 per cent of all couples, but the separation of cohabiting parents makes up 48 per cent of all family breakdowns. Similarly, 31 per cent of cohabiting parents have split by the time their child is seven, compared with only 12 per cent of married parents.
There is today a hollow pretence that marriage and monogamy are somehow unsuited to our modern society. That view is based on the belief that marriage has no place in a world in which we are all living longer and in which social media and opportunities to travel have thrust more temptations in our way. On the contrary, far from being a drag, long marriages can and should, at their best, be an unmatched source of comfort in a turbulent world. Like a vintage wine, a committed relationship grows richer with age, especially into old age. Ask any person who faces old age on their own.
What is more, the cost of family breakdown is hugely expensive for us as a society. It is estimated that the Government has to spend an extra £46 billion a year coping with the consequences of family breakdown, from increased welfare benefits to intervention by social services.
If we are to reverse all these worrying trends and statistics, we have to put marriage back at the heart of our social structure. Policies such as married tax breaks can send a positive message. For far too long, the entire tax-and-benefits system has been moving in the opposite direction, financially penalising married couples and providing perverse and no doubt unintended incentives to break up.
We must also wean ourselves off our modern culture of instant self-gratification and celebrity worship. Expectations of relationships are often too high, commitment too weak. Research by our foundation last year showed that celebrities are twice as likely to suffer a family break-up as the average couple.
There is no doubt that a lasting and devoted marriage is more fulfilling than a revolving carousel of short-term relationships. And those who will gain most from a calmer, more stable society will be our children. Surely they are entitled to expect that we will give them the best possible start in life?”
Newsnight interview when she said:
“A lot of mixed race people, like myself, have a white mother and a black father and often that black father is absent.”It's no coincidence that 'two-generations' of 'social revolution,' exemplified by 'instant self-gratification,' 'instability and conflict' grew up alongside the importation of the wildly different mores and behaviours of the West Indies and some parts of Africa over the course of, you guessed it, the last two (and a half) generations.
Oh yes, those who wished to destroy us knew what they were doing when they invited huge numbers of people who were wholly unlike us into our peaceful, stable and personally responsible world.
As so much of the degeneration highlighted by Sir Paul flourished as a result of 'progressive' ideas aggressively promoted by the Left, one might have expected a Conservative party to do something about it when they were government or, at least, to try to stem the anarchic tide by introducing, for example, 'policies such as married tax breaks.'
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the 19 December edition of The Mail, Steve Doughty tells us that Sir Paul was 'given a formal warning by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for judicial misconduct!'
For daring to speak out and say it as it really is. Steve Doughty added:
"An inquiry by the Office for Judicial Complaints, the body that polices the behaviour of judges, had found his speeches and newspaper articles were ‘incompatible with his judicial responsibilities’."The greatest enemy of the New World Order, ladies and gents, is the whole truth, plainly spoken. All three of our leading political parties are as one when it comes to such truthfully unwelcome interventions as that given us by Sir Paul. As my dear old dad used to say:
"They all p*** in the same pot!"Steve Doughty continued:
"Last December the office (for Judicial complaints) advised Sir Paul to take a lower profile after he had protested about the devastating impact of family break-up on children, criticised cohabitation, and called for greater support for marriage. Sir Paul... could have served for another five years and was effectively forced out."Sir Paul, himself, was quoted thus:
"I would like to refute the erroneous suggestion that my fellow judges are opposed to what I have been doing. With one or two exceptions they have been very, if quietly, supportive... One or two members of the public may resent my intervention for their own particular reasons, hence their complaints, but, judging by the support I have received, that is not the view of the majority...Who would you rather have as Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas or Judge Paul Coleridge? Who would you rather have as Justice Secretary, Judge Paul or Chris Grayling?
Tackling these urgent problems calls for those of us who know more about them than anyone else occasionally to blow the whistle publicly and do something...
I could have carried on for a further five years, and been prepared to complete them, but it is not really feasible if I have to look over my shoulder every time I want publicly to support the Marriage Foundation or its work. My position would become increasingly untenable."
Who would you rather have as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Chief Diversity Officer at Channel 4?
Yeah, me too.