Friday, June 29, 2007

Anarchy in the UK (we're so pretty, oh so pretty, vacant).

It's been a red letter week for the courts in the UK. By the "three strikes and you're out" rule, they've shot their wad in just a few days:

Strike one: let's start small with Dennis North who has been ordered to pay out GBP200,000 (that's US$400,000) to his ex-wife of 30 years ago. Yes, that's right, 30 years after the divorce, she gets to come back to the court and take "another bite of the cherry" and the court doesn't laugh in her face and kick her out but actually takes her side. This, folks, is starting small. It gets worse.

Strike two: meanwhile, Michael Cox is hustled off to jail for non-payment of child support that his ex-wife doesn't want, against protests by his children and despite the fact that he looks after the children himself 50% of the time. Curiously, the debts are not described as being to his ex-wife, but to the child support collection agency (CSA), isn't that interesting? He made the mistake of telling the agency that it is “oppressive, unjust and discriminatory in its action”, it reacted by proving it for him.

Strike three: the hattrick is completed by Mark Harris who was separated from his children for ten years. It took 133 court appearances, 33 different judges, two prison sentences and a hunger strike for him to find some "justice". He was jailed for waving at his children in a passing car. Ultimately, it wasn't even the court that forced the issue but his children themselves.

It brings a whole new meaning to the idea of "contempt of court" does it not? It all really tests my faith that when things like this happen, the people doing it are not themselves evil, but rather "good people doing evil". Once in a while, a family court judge does show some conscience, with an appeal "don't ignore the children" from one judge who appears to want to be the daddy to children being chewed up by the courts. Someone should tell him that if the courts weren't so busy destroying their parents, or rather, one of their parents, they might give the children some security with the people who really matter in their lives.

Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up.

Who the hell are these people? Magistrates in the UK are said, in part, to be taken from "the great and the good". If that's the case, the "Great" in "Great Britain" is a very strangely defined adjective, don't you think?

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