Written betwixt Paddington and Templemeads last night...
I didn’t hear Sir Paul Coleridge on the Today programme this morning (yesterday), owing to my broken foot (I had to cadge a lift to work with my brother who is allergic to Radio 4. Sadly, I am allergic to Kiss FM but this cuts no ice).
I confess that of the “Marriage Foundation” I know only that which is available via headline – plus a short article in the Evening Standard read on the train en route back from the divorce capital. But such lack of in depth knowledge never stops anyone else from commenting on anything at all, so “What the hell”. And besides, its rude not to complain about the Standard at least once on every visit to the ol' smoke.
Headline: “Judge: Hello! Approach is fuelling family breakdown”
Apparently, “He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In terms of the impact that family breakdown is having on society, nobody has the experience that the family judiciary have”. Pause there. NOBODY. Not the mediators, counsellors, extended family, teachers or – god forbid - the parties to divorces. Carry on.
“He insisted he was not mounting a moral campaign but wanted to set-out the facts in a “non-preachy” way”. Hold. That. Thought.
“He said he wasn’t “knocking” the magazine, but added: “I normally find the people who are in there are in my court within about a year or two.””
Pause there. Rewind. “In terms of the impact family breakdown is having on society, nobody has the experience that the family judiciary have”. Apparently limited to the experience of that portion of society that is displayed in Hello! magazine. I wonder if the experience of the District Judges is quite the same. More Coronation Street than Hello! I suspect, and most of them managing to get in a sufficient pickle to end up falling upon the judiciary without ever having said “I do”.
“We all know, all of us who have been in relationships for a long time, that the only way they are made to work and the only way they become really qualitatively good is by absolutely grinding away at it”. Pause there. Remember that not-preachy thing? Er...I could ask the vexed question of just how far one should persevere with a “difficult” relationship and when it is ok to divorce (how much grinding does one have to tolerate?) - but it’s late, I’m ill informed, and it would be more amusing to snigger at the unfortunate choice of language. Juvenile I know: but a bit of mickey taking is just as key to any healthy adult relationship… Once the kids arrive you have to find something to replace the grinding, right?
Postscript: For those who want to find out about the Marriage Foundation their website is here. There is a useful link to their first newsletter in the centre of the home page. I have previously written about this topic here.