One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell



Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Beatrice Timpson: Judges should speak the truth, not be slaves to fashion

Mr Justice Coleridge has devoted forty years of his life to discerning the truth from the evidence put before him in the family courts.

He does not deal in fashions and fads in the court. They are irrelevant to his work. They come and go like the tide; the truth remains the truth.

We are in an age where the fashion is social liberalism. It began in the Sixties and it continues today. While much of the early change was positive, fifty years later the pendulum has truly swung in the opposite direction.

The truth that Sir Paul Coleridge has voiced on numerous occasions is that family breakdown has grown exponentially since the early days of his career.

Now, under half of all children aged fifteen live with both their parents. If current trends continue, this generation of newborns will face even greater levels of family breakdown than the generation before them.

As Sir Paul says, the pain caused by family breakdown is severe and long-lasting. Broken families are linked to increased levels of truancy, juvenile delinquency and alcohol or drug abuse.

The stable and healthy relationship of parents are the single most important influence in a child’s life.

Of those parents who stay together until their children reach fifteen years old, 93 per cent are married. Cohabiting couples account for only 19 per cent of parents but 50 per cent of breakdowns.

This is the second truth Sir Paul has championed. Marriage is statistically the strongest form of relationship and the one that gives a family the greatest chance of riding the waves of hard times and good together and intact.

It is why he started the campaign group, The Marriage Foundation, because in his words, “’Marriage’ whether people like it or not, is and always has been the ‘foundation’ of all civilised societies since time began.”

Sir Paul has gone against the grain; he has said the unsayable. He has reminded us that we as adults have a responsibility towards our children and their welfare. We have the responsibility to give them a stable environment to grow up in.

While fellow judges have been free to speak out with more fashionable, liberal views, Sir Paul has been given a warning, then an official reprimand by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office for voicing his opinions on marriage, as he has told today's Sunday Times.

He has spoken of his annoyance and mystification at the decision of the JCIO and the Lord Chief Justice to rebuke him for bringing the judiciary into "disrepute" for speaking up for marriage.

Sir Paul has taken early retirement from the Family Courts so that he can speak freely about the work of his Foundation.

That family stability is critical to social cohesion might not be a fashionable view. It might not be a cool and liberal one. But it is unquestionably true.


  • timbazo

    Coleridge could make an even greater contribution to families by criticising the secrecy of the family courts and the consequent abuses committed through these courts.

  • ukfred

    A few weeks ago, a contributor on the Telegraph blogs “SpeedofDark” wrote

    “It is part of the Frankfurt School agenda which was created to aid communism spread. It was originally based in Germany but fled to the USA when Hitler came to power. From then to the early 60′s it embedded itself in the US college and University system. It was, in fact, responsible for the counter culture revoluton of the 60′s( which most of the youth at that time saw as liberating from the admittedly authoritarian, and moral governance that existed. This is not the stuff of conspiracy theories but stark fact. Marcuse was one of the leading lights of this operation and his
    frank and open confessions are all on the youtubel The aim was to change forever the long establshed judao-christian heritage. To give you further insight (assuming like most people you are now aware of all this) I show below the key points of the Frankfurt School agenda.

    Please, then, if you wish compare those leading points with the
    actions of the labour governments of 1997 – 2010…..a close match,
    indeed. But this agenda is shared by the 3 parties – we live in a 3
    party, 0ne party state of cultural marxists.

    “The final aim of the Frankfurt School was to make the West so corrupt it “will stink”

    “The School included among its members the 1960s guru of the New Left Herbert Marcuse (denounced by Pope Paul VI for his theory of liberation which ‘opens the way for licence cloaked as liberty’), Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, the popular writer Erich Fromm, Leo Lowenthal, and Jurgen Habermas – possibly the School’s most influential representative.

    “Basically, the Frankfurt School believed that as long as an individual had the belief – or even the hope of belief – that his divine gift of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation that they considered necessary to provoke socialist revolution. Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy. To do this they called for the most negative destructive criticism possible of every sphere of life which would be designed to de-stabilize society and bring down what they saw as the oppressive’ order. Their policies, they hoped, would spread like a virus—‘continuing the work of the Western Marxists by other means’ as one of their members noted.

    “To further the advance of their ‘quiet’ cultural revolution – but giving us no ideas about their plans for the future – the School recommended (among other things):

    1. The creation of racism offences.
    2. Continual change to create confusion
    3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
    4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority
    5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
    6. The promotion of excessive drinking
    7. Emptying of churches
    8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime
    9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
    10. Control and dumbing down of media
    11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

    “One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud’s idea of ‘pansexualism’ – the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women.

    To further their aims they would:

    • attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children.
    • abolish differences in the education of boys and girls

    • abolish all forms of male dominance – hence the presence of women in the armed forces
    • declare women to be an ‘oppressed class’ and men as ‘oppressors’

    “Munzenberg summed up the Frankfurt School’s long-term operation thus: ‘We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.’

    “The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. ‘Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness’. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.”

    While Speedofdark points the finger at the the administrations of Phoney Tony B-Liar and Gordon Jonah B-Ruin, the charge could reasonably be leveled at every administration since 1964, although one might wish to excuse Margaret Thatcher’s administrations because she had other fish to fry. With the honourable exception of Michael Gove, going along with the Frankfurt agenda is a charge that could be laid against the present administration and especially Cameron for his championing same-sex marriage.

    What the country needs, and the Conservatives don ot seem to be willing to give it, is an honest administration that rolls back the state. In the 1970s it was the Conservatives who cried,”Set the people free!”. Now it is only UKIP.

  • gammosiuwong

    While I agree that marriage is valuable one of the reasons that it is so unfashionable are the consequences upon break up. One of the main reasons that women initiate divorce is that they are “unfulfilled” but it’s the man who generally loses his children, his home, half his earnings, pension and future earnings. Who on God’s earth thinks that’s a fair deal for men for such whimsical “Cosmo” folly? Would you contract to that?
    Hoping that marriage will be adopted will not work. “No fault” divorce may have aided the courts but it screwed men and no, they rightly won’t commit. If a change is sought then just dispute resolution must be part of the package….because it isn’t at present. It’s plain misandrist.