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  • David Cameron: Absent fathers are as bad as drink drivers
  • By Brendan Carlin
  • Daily Mail
  • 19/06/2011 Make a Comment (9)
  • Contributed by: admin ( 15 articles in 2011 )
Father and son bond: David Cameron, seen here with his late father Ian, says single mothers should not be left to raise their children on their own
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Fathers who run out on their families should be ‘stigmatised’ in the same way as drink-drivers, David Cameron said last night.

In an impassioned appeal to mark Father’s Day today, the Prime Min¬ister called for ‘runaway dads’ to be made to feel the ‘full force of shame’ for their actions. He insisted that it ‘simply isn’t acceptable’ for single mothers to be left to bring up their children on their own.

He added: ‘We need to make Britain a genuinely hostile place for fathers who go AWOL.

‘It’s high time runaway dads were stigmatised, and the full force of shame was heaped upon them. They should be looked at like drink-drivers, people who are beyond the pale.’

Mr Cameron, who has three children with wife Samantha, also admitted he ‘could be better as a parent’, and acknowledged how much he owes to his own father, who died last year.

Condemning the effect of absent fathers, Mr Cameron said: ‘They need the message rammed home to them, from every part of our culture, that what they’re doing is wrong – that leaving single mothers, who do a heroic job against all odds, to fend for themselves simply isn’t acceptable.’

It was not clear last night if the stern message will be followed by specific new measures to crack down on errant fathers.

In a newspaper article, Mr Cameron also delivered a moving tribute to his own father, Ian Cameron, who died last September, aged 77.

Left: Family man - David Cameron, with wife Samantha and baby Florence, says fathers should not be able to shirk their responsibilities

Mr Cameron has previously spoken of how his father, who overcame the disability of being born with severely deformed legs, was such a powerfully influential role model for him.

But in his article, Mr Cameron wrote: ‘On this day, the first Father’s Day since my own father died, I want to acknowledge just how important dads are to laying the foundations.’

He added: ‘From my father, I learned about responsibility. Seeing him get up before the crack of dawn to go and do a hard day’s work and not come back until late at night had a profound impact on me.

‘My dad, who was disabled, taught me about optimism – that no matter how bad things are, you can overcome them if you have the right frame of mind.’

But in singling out the role of fatherhood, Mr Cameron signalled he ran the risk of protests by equality campaigners.

‘We live in an age of equality, where people don’t like to see the differences between the sexes,’ he said.

‘But it goes without saying, two different people, nurturing the same child, will bring different things to the table.’

He reaffirmed his determination to introduce tax breaks for married couples. This was a General Election pledge which some Tories have feared was being ditched to appease the Lib Dems in the Coalition.

‘I want us to recognise marriage in the tax system so as a country we show we value commitment,’ he wrote.

The Prime Minister issued a strong defence of traditional family life as the ‘cornerstone of our society’, calling for a new drive to ‘bring fathers back into the lives of all our children’.

Even when parents were separated, fathers had a duty to support their children ‘financially and emotionally’ – spending time with them at weekends, attending nativity plays and taking an interest in their education, he insisted.

Mr Cameron, who with wife Samantha is bringing up his young family in Downing Street, admitted he could better as a father.

‘I don’t for one minute claim to be a perfect father to my kids. Just ask Sam.

‘But this is too important an issue to remain silent on.

‘This is about our children’s futures, and with that, our country’s future too.

‘We owe it to them to be there for them, however hard we may find it.’


    By:John Brookes from West Midlands (WALSALL), United kingdom on July 7, 2013 @ 2:40 am
    The principle of any government is to protect the best interests of the country they serve. The country is PEOPLE ! THAT MEANS Fathers Mothers and of course Children. Instead of making cheap tacky and insulting remarks, those who represent this country should get off their high horses and start acting for the best interests of its citizens. AND STOP SERVING THEMSELVES.
    By:David Mortimer from Milton Keynes, UK on July 6, 2013 @ 10:33 pm
    The children's act took away our legal rights to be parents & gave us responsibilities instead. The children's act does not give parents or grandparents a legal right to contact & nobody in our government or the family court system know how much contact a none resident parent needs to have with their children to ensure their long term relationship is sustainable despite the fact that there have been 7 family court inquiries since the children's act was first introduced.

    A child's "needs" cannot be optimally met by a single parent, however loving. Kruk's findings show that a child must spend at least 40% of his time with a parent to establish and maintain a beneficial attachment.

    David Cameron doesn't seem to care about what is in the best interests of children or he would of honored what the Conservatives pledged to do in their pre-election manifesto.


    On 17th October 2004 the Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for the Family, Theresa May, pledged to end the misery of the family courts. Unveiling a strategy for institutional change.

    By:John Brookes from Walsall, United kingdom on July 6, 2013 @ 8:14 pm
    By:David Mortimer from Milton Keynes, UK on July 6, 2013 @ 8:43 am
    A child's "needs" cannot be optimally met by a single parent, however loving. Kruk's findings show that a child must spend at least 40% of his time with a parent to establish and maintain a beneficial attachment.

    In Texas the minimum amount of time a judge can order is now approximately 42% 1997
    By:David Mortimer from Milton Keynes, UK on July 6, 2013 @ 5:31 am
    David Cameron doesn't care about fathers maintaining contact with their children after separation or divorce or he would have honored the commitments made in the Conservatives pre-election manifesto.
    By:Brian P from Sth Aust., Aust on July 4, 2013 @ 7:20 pm
    David Cameron on the Committee of 300?

    Didn't know PM's get an automatic seat at the round table of the almighty elite. Or is is it because he has blood ties?

    Was he even voted in by the people or just automatically elected by the elite as the country PM?
    By:Daveyone from England, London on April 25, 2012 @ 7:55 pm
    Please check out my latest contribution to the news items here 'The terrorist from within, which gives an update to this article!
    By:Paul from Sale Victoria, Australia on April 25, 2012 @ 9:25 am
    Good points Johnny. Lets see how UK PM DC reacts when he is dragged thru the courts, loses his assets, has a CSA debt of more than he earns and is deprived from seeing his kids with restraining orders and police. These wankers have no fucking idea!!!
    By:JohnnyBgood from NSW, Australia on July 25, 2011 @ 6:54 pm
    One can certainly sympathise with the loss of a loved one David, a father in your case, as loss and grief can be a tough road to travel. Add that to the stresses of a new born baby, relationship issues, demanding work and public life stresses and I'm sure you're feeling the load if you're a real human being. It's understandable that these pressures may give rise to thoughtless, emotive and negative comments of yours towards fathers, albeit being true of some fathers and possibly so for many hundreds of years.

    The question really is "Why do Dads runaway?" Let's scientifically find out what the real root causes are, all of them, and then we can no doubt address and treat these serious problems, alleviating much of the harm that comes from these actions.

    Attempting to win political brownie points with single mums and affiliated groups through 'nitpicking' is foolish and immature and not the mark of a true leader David, if that is in fact what your true aspiration in life is to be!

    What does "We need to make Britain a genuinely hostile place for fathers who go AWOL." and "stigmatised...full force of shame was heaped upon them...looked at like drink-drivers" really mean David? Hostile, stigmatised, shame, force, Fathers and war acronyms all in two sentences. What is this really all about David? I'm surprised you left out the word Terrorist to boot. If it wasn't so serious an issue David, it would be laughable and dismissable. Which power brokers are you really taking your cues from David?

    One can't take a jigsaw puzzle piece and isolate it saying this is the problem, one must look at the environment in which it is supposed to fit, survive and thrive! By looking at the milieu the solution can be readily found, but why doesn't this happen is what I want to know.

    The point for the public to understand is that such biased, negative and narrow minded comments from a leader, with title from a country, is certainly no leader of people let alone humanity. The public should immediately stop giving their presence and energy to such politicians and the media that supports them - period!

    What leaders (call them politicians if you like), should be saying is we have a problem, this is what we see and we will look into the fall causes and seek solutions. Alas, they never do. It's just the continual blame game, muck-raking attack of innuendo day in, day out! One gets pretty sick and tired of it I can assure you, so much in fact I switched off the TV and removed it from my home over 14 years ago and have never looked back.

    Switch of today every Television channel in the world that has mindless news and political rhetoric. You as the public will be far better for it!

    Whilst the remaining comments by Mr Cameron about fatherhood are on the face of it one most surely would agree with in relation to nurturing, values, commitment and to "bring fathers back into the lives of all our children" with sensible and obvious tax reform for families, it doesn't detract the public from noticing David Cameron that your attitude toward "runaway dads" and "drink drivers" is one of short sightedness and lean toward being a bigot. Your failures to address the flaws of the Family Court Industry reform also shows a lack of insight into the deep problems in society.

    David, your path as a Father has already been set. Chances are due to your esteemed position, finances and fancy trust arrangements and contracts, your wife will not leave you before your child is 18, and you will arrive home each night to your child/ren without the fear of them ever leaving you, or being kicked out of your house, or never seeing your child/ren again, and basically losing everything in your life in the process bar the shirt on your back.

    So David, when you can show the public and yourself that you really do care, and want to do some real good, show the public a sign that all these problem areas will now be finally addressed, properly researched and resolved with improved, fair and sensible outcomes for all.

    God forbid - we have the resources, don't we??

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