Monday, October 18, 2004


"Geldof pointed out that family law works on the presumption that only mothers are capable of caring for children and that, except in extreme cases of addiction or abuse, the mother is always deemed the more capable nurturer. Divorced dads, he claims, do not play an equal and active role in raising their offspring, often because the law prevents them from doing so......

The important point here is that modern dads not only have the desire to raise their offspring, but the ability to do so. Yet the law decrees that when a couple divorce, in the majority of cases the children stay with the mothet. How is that fair or equal?

For that matter, why do we take it for granted that when a couple split up, the woman will be awarded the vast majority of the assets -- including the family home? Is it not possible that in some situations, at least, the father is the more capable parent? The very idea is heresy to many feminist campaigners, for whom all things must be equal... so long as that doesn't mean acknowledging that some women can be equally bad parents as some men.

Again and again we are told: in the eyes of the law, the children come first. And they should. But there must be some occasions when the man can provide a better home than the woman for his children?

Much as we would all love a world where every family is whole and secure, that is not our generation's reality. As Sir Bob pointed out, it is too easy to get into marriage and too easy to get out. But in Bob's World, where mothers and fathers had equal rights, there is an intriguing possibility. If mothers did not get automatic custody of the kids and guaranteed financial support; if instead they faced the risk they would end up with the bills and without the kids, I suspect our divorce-rate would plummet"

More here


Even though it gives far better representation to minorities than is generally the case!

Football is failing to tackle racism in the game, according to a new report from the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). 'Football's authorities and clubs are not taking racism seriously', claims CRE chairman Trevor Phillips. 'They are not doing enough to promote equal opportunities off the pitch and remove the barriers that prevent ethnic minorities working at all levels of the sport.'

Oh dear God, not another report on racism in football. You would have thought that researchers might have found more groundbreaking subjects to investigate. You know, like studying things we didn't already know about. Trying to discover the causes of cancer might be a good place to start.

Anyway, why does football get singled out as an exemplar of racism? It is ironic that an industry so frequently accused of importing too many foreign players and managers should be just as frequently branded as racist. In fact, football is one of the few arenas in public life where black people can and do succeed. Indeed they are overrepresented in football. Twenty per cent of professional footballers are black, yet black people constitute just 2.3 per cent of the population of England.

But that's not enough for the CRE, which complains that there are too few ethnic minority managers, directors and administrators. 'There is a striking disparity between the relatively high number of black footballers and the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the boardrooms and governance arrangements of football clubs and national football associations', concludes the report. The CRE has drawn up an action plan requiring clubs and FA bodies to overhaul their recruitment and training procedures, adopt equal opportunities policies, and set targets for tackling the under-representation of ethnic minorities. The CRE action plan reads like a full employment charter for race consultants and diversity trainers, but would it benefit anyone else?

I don't think so. No doubt plenty of black and Asian youngsters dream of becoming professional footballers, but do they really aspire to sit on county FA committees? There would have be something seriously wrong with them if they did. Some poor bastards are now going to be dragooned on to these wretched bodies just so that the FA can meet its ethnic representation targets.

The CRE wants all football clubs to develop what it calls 'representation strategies' by July 2006. The problem with these affirmative action-style policies is that they send out the message that ethnic minorities cannot get jobs on merit, but instead need a bureaucratic hand-up. This is patronising - and counter-productive. If more black managers or administrators are hired as a consequence of such policies, there will always be the lingering suspicion that they only got the job because of the colour of their skin. How does that advance the cause of racial equality?

Admittedly, football clubs may not be the most enlightened of employers, but I'd rather see black and Asians succeed on merit. Black footballers broke into what was then an exclusively white man's game in the 1970s and 80s, at a time when terrace racism was at its worst. More to the point, they established themselves without the anti-racist policies or representation strategies that proliferate today. So why can't aspiring black managers or aspiring black FA blazers (if any such creatures exist) do the same?

More here.

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