Rod Liddle

Easy divorce has been catastrophic for British children (and I say this as a divorcee)

Mention this and you are likely to be defriended on Facebook and stopped from attending Hay-on-Wye

29 November 2014

9:00 AM

29 November 2014

9:00 AM

Would you find it difficult to remain friends with someone if he or she suddenly revealed that they intended to vote Ukip in the next election? Or perhaps it is the case that you yourself have told friends that you intend to vote Ukip and have seen those dinner-party invitations drying up, or have been shunned by acquaintances in the queue to order your Christmas turkey at Waitrose. A new survey suggests that Ukip is a ‘toxic’ party, with almost a quarter of people (24 per cent) reporting that we would find it hard to remain friends with someone who felt warmth and fellowship towards Nigel Farage.

The implication was that the party itself was at fault for this in some way; that it is full of horrible, vile, people who wish to repatriate the ethnics and then invade Poland. But it is more revelatory about that 24 per cent — they were almost all absolutist, whining liberal lefties, whose capacity for intolerance is unbounded. Dare to gainsay their fatuous world-view and you will find yourself hounded, bullied, ostracised. You may even find your children taken away from you (as happened to a couple of Ukip members not so long ago) — because that 24 per cent has its hands on the levers of state power.

Another survey, a year or two back, suggested you were also likely to be ‘defriended’ on Facebook by lefties if you disagree with something they say — far more likely than you are to be defriended by a right-winger for daring to suggest that, say, slavery perhaps had its downsides, all things considered. These people have the tolerance of the ADHD toddler, pre the administering of several thousand ccs of Ritalin. In essence, they are as flexible of mind and as democratic of spirit as the Islamists to whom they are habituated to offer sympathy and even solidarity. They may not actually chop your head off but — as the writer David Goodhart discovered when he wrote a book which was mildly challenging of the liberal mindset on immigration — they may prevent you from appearing at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival. I suppose, on the grand scale of things, that’s less incommodious than being separated from your own head. But the principle is the same.

You can witness the mentalist tantrums of the metro left every day on the comment boards and in your newspapers. They will be stamping their little feet right now, I suspect, about a report from Resolution, the association representing family lawyers, which suggests that divorce is hugely injurious, academically and emotionally, to the children who get caught up in it. The lawyers suggest that it affects their GCSE results and can result in addiction to drugs and various other traumas. The correct view of divorce, if you are a bien-pensant, is that it’s a bloody good thing, and we should have more of it. Anything which undermines the oppressive institution of heterosexual marriage is good; homosexual marriage, however, is a wonderful institution to which we should all be fervently committed. The liberal left loathe the notion of tax breaks for married couples because it discriminates against much more with-it and right-on couples who wish to shack up for while and maybe squeeze out a few kids while so doing, time permitting.

The ramifications of this ‘marriage-lite’, as the sociologist Patricia Morgan calls it, are even more injurious than those of divorce. But mention this and you are likely to be defriended on Facebook and stopped from attending Hay-on-Wye; such a view casts aspersions on single mothers, you see, and single mothers are absolutely brilliant at bringing up kids and there’s an end to it.

Except: no, they’re not. Cheering as it is to see the family lawyers commissioning a report which makes it clear that their own ministrations are deeply harmful to society, Resolution does not go far enough. Children from broken homes make up 80 per cent of the population of Britain’s psychiatric institutions. Studies from mainland Europe and the UK suggest that children with only one parent suffer twice the incidence of psychiatric illness, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide attempts. They are also more likely to suffer sexual abuse, are more disruptive and less academically able at school, more inclined later to criminality and are overall more aggressive. They are also much, much, more likely to end up unemployed or in low-paid jobs.

Divorce — and I write as a divorcee, and not a proud divorcee — has been catastrophic for two generations of British children. The 1971 Divorce Reform Act was undoubtedly good news for parents who were suddenly gripped by a fervent desire to shag someone other than their spouse — but it was not terribly good news for the children. And it was especially bad for the children in low-income households. If your fissiparous family earned a decent double income and enjoyed a middle-class lifestyle then at least some, if not most, of the effects of divorce could be mitigated for the children — which is why, in the first years after the divorce laws were reformed, it tended to be the middle classes who got unhitched. Because they could afford to do so.

But now everyone’s doing it, because it is a human right, divorce. A couple of years ago I stood outside a jobcentre in Middlesbrough talking to everyone who came in and out. Of the more than 100 people I spoke to, every one — every single one — was either the product of a broken home or had created a broken home. And more than 50 per cent of them ticked both boxes. And they had been ruined by it, financially and emotionally. If you are well off, divorce is bad for the kids. If you are poor, it is utterly calamitous for the kids and the adults both.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Rod Liddle and others will read at the Spectator carol concert, with the choir of St Bride’s: see

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Show comments
  • HD2

    I agree 100%.
    Our divorce (two teachers) cost £300,000 and ended up with my French ex and her New Zealand girlfriend/lover (since 1985: N and I met in 1990, married in ’92 and split in ’98. The two women had shared a bed whenever I was not present throughout that time, and do so still) moving to Sydney in 2003 on grounds which were obviously false when presented to the court and subsequently proved to be PRECISELY what i had said to the Judge.

    Indeed, on recently re-reading my submissions (which he invariably rejected) the only one which has since proved to be ‘unproven’ is that I believed then that the Kiwi was sexually attracted to our youngest daughter and was abusing her.

    The girl, then aged 10, sexually molested another girl in her class and had nearly a year of child psychology treatment, but I’ve never been told why…

    Neither I, nor our family and the girls’ older sister, have seen then since 2005.

    When I flew out to Sydney for a visit arranged between our solicitors, she took the girls away somewhere unknown, so I had no option but to return to the UK 2 days later.

    • MrsDBliss

      God, that’s horrible. I’m so sorry for you and your daughter. I know that’s pretty meaningless drivel as a response, but felt I had to say something if only because divorce has become so hard one men and children and the apparent denial of this is insulting to people like you who’ve gone through horrible things like this.

      • HD2

        Thank you very much.
        Our family was destroyed by the successive Judgements and Orders of HHJ Morgan, who was a Civil Division barrister before becoming a Family Division Judge.
        And it showed.
        he ruined many, many lives by an inability to admit that he’d been lied to (repeatedly) or that he’d ever made a mistake in any his previous findings.
        He strutted into court each day like the pompous little ass he is and crawled out at the end having inflicted nothing except untold misery on all but the much richer lawyers involved.
        Odious little man.

        I should add that every OTHER Judge we ever came across – in preliminary Hearings and the like – was kind, sympathetic and as helpful as they reasonably could be in what were obvious difficult and complex proceedings.

  • Tilly

    I couldn’t find the details of the carol concert link, but know its
    on my birthday, an excellent day for a concert, hope it goes well.

  • Tilly

    To be very honest Rod.Regardless of the Spectator and the Guardian swimming in a sea of very vocal and exited kippers.
    In the real non blogging world of taking children to school, working, eating out , going to the pub etc.. I’ve not encountered
    a single one. Maybe they just don’t exist in the nice touristy
    area in the south west where I live, maybe they just exist on
    blogosphere or the newspapers to keep the readership up.
    Or maybe they just dont admit it.
    But if a friend of mine said he or she were UKIP or I were a secret
    UKIP person, I ‘d be grateful that they or I choose our/my friends
    wisely and would keep my head whilst all around me lose theirs.

    • John Lea

      I think it’s more about the hypocrisy and intolerance of the middle-class metropolitan elite, Tilly, who champion liberal values and freedom of speech etc, yet loathe any viewpoint – no matter how reasonable – which is tinged with right-wing politics. I share an office with three nice, middle-class, highly intelligent lefties, but when I ‘came out’ one day and admitted that I rather liked Nigel Farage (his blokiness, his defiance of the Westminster establishment, his drinking and smoking in the face of bland BBC questioning), I was met with frosty silence. Needless to say I work in a university, where having left-wing bien pensant views is pretty much compulsory. F*ck ’em.

      • Tilly

        Yes Nigel Farage comes across as a nice bloke, someone you can imagine sharing a shepherds pie
        and pint with in a country pub on a sunday afternoon.
        He is a politcian but comes across as more down to
        earth, and because he’s not up to now been part of
        the Westminster bunch, he can say comforting words,
        he has no actual responsibility so can’t upset anyone
        and that is a popular place to be.
        I do like him too but unlike some, remember he’s a politician, so will not place him on a pedestal.

        PS Universities are shockingly leftist, my husband thought of becoming a lecturer but didn’t because of
        that. But good for you for making your point, the others
        are narrow minded morons.Stuff Them!

  • Diggery Whiggery

    Like any contract, the easier it is to get out of, the more worthless it becomes and the less interest there is in signing up in the first place.

    Make marriage harder to get out of and it’s popularity would increase. It sounds counterintuitive but it’s true.

    • Jankers

      Is the prospect of losing your house, your kids, your pension and possibly your future income not deterrent enough?
      If homosexual marriage brings any good it may be more equal distribution of the families assets when they decide to split.

    • Jankers

      Is the prospect of losing your house, your kids, your pension and possibly your future income not deterrent enough for any man?
      Maybe that’s why 75% of divorce is brought by women.

      If homosexual marriage brings any good it may be more equal distribution of the families assets when they decide to split.

      • Diggery Whiggery

        Sure but that’s nothing to do with how easy it is to legally end a marriage. What you’re talking about is the bias still shown to women in the divorce courts despite years of equality legislation.

        Men and women are supposed to be equal before the law, just not in family court.

        • Porzellan

          But that assumes that women sue in court. Do they all? No lawyers even need be involved, especially if there are no children: you go for no-fault, either state your financial situation or better yet split it up evenly before filing, and then you can state that you hold no goods in common. All you want is to dissolve the legal tie, without penalty to either partner. Sounds perfectly rational, and the law does support this — at least in my part of the world.

          • Diggery Whiggery

            I’m not saying otherwise. I’m saying that like any contract, the easier you make it to legally end a marriage the less worth it has, and the less interest there will be in signing up. Arguing about whether you attribute common goods amicably or through costly litigation is a separate issue in my view. Assuming it ends in litigation, which is always possible, the man is normally at a disadvantage so that can act as a deterrent. However, the deterrent is not due to the contract of marriage being difficult to break in this case, but simply that it can be costly.

          • Porzellan

            Speaking as a married person, I think that ending marriage is already difficult enough precisely because it does a) involve court, as if one is guilty of something and must report to the state about it — something I find deeply offensive, as a personal aside; b) rend one’s life in nearly all its aspects; c) become more costly with respect to b) with each passing year and accumulation of attachments. I consider my marriage unbreakable, as it has long since been — and it’s not because I haven’t had excellent reasons to break it.

          • Damaris Tighe

            When I married for the second time I entered the marriage with the determination that breaking it wasn’t an option. At times he was a very difficult man but knowing that I was never going to file for divorce was for me a glue for the relationship & I’m very glad we got through – simply because there was no escape route & we had to work through our differences & get used to each other. Welcome back btw.

          • Interesting and understandable. You’re obviously made of the right stuff. And thank you : )

          • Damaris Tighe

            Your support is appreciated 😉

      • Christian

        But do you have the guts to point that out to men you know getting married for the first time?

        Doesn’t matter if women don’t know the consequences, they’re not the ones who pay the price. Who’s telling men?

        • Porzellan

          ‘Women are free to divorce because they know they’ll keep the kids (and the house, and the income)’: news to me. In a no-fault situation, surely the marital assets are divided evenly and the income continues to go to whomever is earning it?

          • Gen d’Eau

            ah bless! Still as a woman you get to hold this delusional view of ‘how things work’ because you’ll never pay a price for your delusions. Men pay the price.

        • cartimandua

          On divorce whoever keeps the kids has to run the same household on half the money.
          It tips women into permanent poverty. Chaps however take a temporary financial hit.
          My ex doesn’t give our daughter enough every month to pay for anything at all and his income is quite reasonable and his new wife worked and has property and a pension.

          • Ben

            That may not be the ‘stereotype’ we are used to hearing. There is definitely a feeling amongst men that women waltz off with the kids and the marital home. Sounds like divorce ain’t so groovy as some make out.

          • Gen d’Eau

            Well, how about this as an explanation?

            “Women predominantly trigger the divorce (70-75% of the time) imagining some glorious empowered future (Eat, Prey Love type of thing). Destroy their family. Discover that there isn’t a queue of men ready to come in and worship their empowered selves. End up with a worse life”

            The fact there’s a gulf between what they imagined and what they got, doesn’t change the fact that they triggered divorce imagining a glorious future.

          • Ben

            All points to the reasoning that divorce ain’t no picnic and is to avoided if possible.

            Also it is crazy to give a large part of ones combined wealth to an exorbitant 3rd party (lawyer) so he/she can adjudicate who gets what out of a husband and wife’s combined wealth. And Rod points out the negative effect on ones children, who’s care is our responsibility from the day they are conceived.

            Divorce is no little matter.

          • Gen d’Eau

            I agree. Let’s spread the word about the realities of the outcomes. Maybe less women will rush to enrich lawyers and impoverish themselves and their kids all in the cause of ’empowering’ themselves and adding some drama to their boring, stable lives.

          • Vabadus

            You MUST be joking. There are stories in the press week after week after week of women receiving huge chunks of men’s wealth, regardless of whether they contributed or not. I occasionally read Family Law Week and peruse cases in which women display breathtaking rapacity.

            England is known by lawyers as the most wife-friendly jurisdiction in the world, and wealthy foreign women (or should I say women with wealthy husbands) are known to forum-shop here. Divorce settlements are not based on basic needs, but the wealthier party funding the lifestyle his ex-spouse was accustomed to. Many women, then, seem to want the benefits of staying married without actually being married.

            Look at John Cleese, whose third wife stole more than half his wealth in their divorce. When they met, she was a single mum in a council flat; today, she is a multi-millionairess whose children will be better off than her ex-husbands because of her capital investment (also known as a divorce). She took £8,000,000 in cash and assets, and £612,000 per year for seven years post-divorce in spousal maintenance. If I were Cleese, I would have instead considered investing that money in an accomplished hitman. The old man had to take up work again in his retirement to fund the unquenchable greed of his ex.

            I personally know a couple who separated after 21 years of a strong, happy marriage because the wife decided in menopausal middle age to run off to another country to set up home with an old family friend. She was a teaching assistant and her husband a recently retired senior police officer.

            Their separation agreement outlines that: (i) he must pay her £500 per month until she cohabits with another man (her affair failed); (ii) he must continue to pay her life insurance and keep her as a beneficiary of his; (iii) pay her £6,000 in cash on the agreement that she does not go for a claim on his pension; (iv) he alone must pay for their daughter’s tuition fees. And this man did nothing wrong.

            As though paying this is not bad enough, he should actually count himself lucky: if the wife had followed her lawyer’s advice rather than agreeing to a separation agreement, she would have been ‘entitled’ to half the pension and spousal maintenance for life, irrespective of her future marital status, because of the length of their marriage.

            If she were a company and breached the terms of their contract, she would be in debt to the innocent second party, not vice-versa. And herein lies the problem: no-fault divorce (or more accurately, at-fault divorce in which fault is not punished). Marriage itself should be a contract with the terms of its rescission (i.e. divorce) agreed on by the couple. The closest thing we have to this is a pre-nuptial agreement, although they are not binding on the courts here and can, in any case, be set aside entirely just because some liberal judge finds it ‘unfair’.

            This lunacy must end.

        • StephanieJCW

          Women are poorer after divorce, men generally richer. Add to that the additional cost on women if the children live with them full time.

          • Gen d’Eau

            “Women are poorer after divorce”

            well obviously so, they don’t get to pick his pocket as efficiently as they could when married.

            Why would you expect to throw a money earner out of the house and not lose money?

      • cartimandua

        If women “keep the kids” they have to run the same household on half the income. They take a financial hit they do not recover from unless they re partner.
        There is an “even split” but it usually means poverty for whoever is trying to manage children (and likely a job too).
        But hey if you want your kids to live in poverty “to get at her” just don’t have any children.

    • Kernow Castellan

      I agree. I’ve never been able to completely trust someone who could break the most solemn vow they could make. If they can’t keep that promise, then the many lesser promises that we all make day-to-day are less reliable.

  • gerontius

    “Mention this and you are likely to be defriended on Facebook”

    Do you have to join Facebook before you can be defriended?

  • Guest

  • yes, the pro-divorce argument is that “better to be divorced than to be in an unhappy relationship”, but that makes babies of us all. relationships take work.

    • Tilly

      Children are the glue to any marriage. Without them what’s
      the point. Although some hide behind little ones and are not

      • Porzellan

        Spoken like the sort of person I would never marry in a million years.

        • Tilly

          Ah ! Elizabeth Bennett I presume, she said those very
          words to a puffed up peacock she did marry.

      • StephanieJCW


        Not everybody wants children.

    • MrsDBliss

      It drives me nuts when they go on about how children can handle divorce; so, an adult, can’t get stuff together to handle a difficult relationship, but your kid can? Really?

      • StephanieJCW

        Depends on the nature of the bad relationship. I know for me, the day my mother told me her and my father were separating was the happiest moment of my childhood.

        Obviously if the family are like the Waltons it can be hard to deal with but if you’re living in a high conflict household, divorce is easier to deal with.

        I have often wondered though, why would you prefer your parents to be miserable rather than seeking happiness with a new relationship? I never understood that.

        And it’s easy to judge those who would rather end an unhappy relationship, but I cannot imagine anything worse than being stuck sharing a bed, a household with someone I could not stand. Sounds like hell.

        • MrsDBliss

          I think you’ll find there is no family like the waltons who end up in the divorce courts. The point of the research is that it’s not good for the kids.
          I think you’ve just kind of proved Rod’s point.
          I don’t care about being judgemental if I believe it’s for the good of society at large. The difference between you and me is that I don’t hold using my judgement on social issues as a sin and then break my own commandment.
          After all that’s what the ‘it’s easy to judge one’ is all about isn’t it?

          • StephanieJCW

            You have miserably failed to understand my post.

            There are different types if divorcing families (and yes there are those that are, or at least appear to be like th Waltons that end up in divorce courts.

            The problem is that the data compares children of divorce to those in intact households – but of course the intact household is generally made up of couples still in love and happy.

            It would make more sense to compare children raised by parents who wish to dissolve the marriage but don’t against those who did. I am pointing out the rookie mistake made by people such as yourself and Rod in confusing causation with correlation.

            Your point on judgment makes no sense so I shall ignore it (you seem to think I have personally been through a divorce, I have not. I happen to think divorce is rather sad and wish people would think more before opting for one, or at least before marrying an ill suited partner (I.e not behave like Liddle).

            I also happen, however to be a child of divorce who was blissfully happy that my parents split and see divorce as a necessary evil.

            I am also genuinely confused why anybody, sane and not selfish would want desperately unhappy parents to remain together.

          • MrsDBliss

            I haven’t failed to understand your post at all. I just don’t agree with it. The idea that intact households are generally made up of people still ‘in love’ is a nonsense. Many couples chose to put their desires second to their children’s needs. Love may grow again out of it, but it’s a part of creating a stable base for your children.
            As for your rookie mistake sneer, you think we don’t live in the real world? One where we see people put their desires behind those of their children? I know many couples who stay together for their children, many. Their kids don’t know it because they don’t argue like cat and dog in front of them.
            The answer to those ugly couples that make such a bad situation for their kids isn’t divorce, it’s to grow up and stop creating such a god awful environment for their kid.
            As for your final comment, that is judgement. Your previous post was also deriding other people for judging – some thing you do consistently to those that disagree with you whilst berating them for it. I have a suspicion that you don’t understand my comments about that because you don’t want to.

    • StephanieJCW

      What if one spouse refuses to work at it?

      • then i guess it will be tough. for each couple it’s a different situation, but the culture can help by getting away from “divorce is no problem” towards “a last resort”. i.e. getting rid of the stigma of divorce has not been a good thing.

  • Lydia Robinson

    The aim of Marxism was to abolish private property and the family. It says so quite clearly in the Communist Manifesto –

    “On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based?
    On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family
    exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement
    in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public

    The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement
    vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

    Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by
    their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.

    But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace
    home education by social.”

    Marxists infiltrated our educational and public institutions in the sixties and continue to influence public and Government policy. They have achieved their aim of destroying the family but haven’t managed to abolish private property.

  • Alison Lavinia Houston

    “Another survey, a year or two back, suggested you were also likely to be ‘defriended’ on Facebook by lefties if you disagree with something they say .”

    This year I was defriended by a gay man seeking to make it compulsory for the sexuality of all employees to be made known to employers so that gay people could be given special gay time off work equivalent to “pet owners and parents”. This was a petition to parliament he was organising which I stupidly questioned the sense of from a Libertatrian point of view.

    Next I was defriended by a green Bilderrberg conspiracy theorist who believed that organic farming methods should be compulsory because they gave employment to those people at the bottom of the pecking order of capability. He didn’t agree with any suggestion that technology has a role to play in farming.

    Next I was defriended by a man who thought Boko Haram was all the fault of the west and our colonialist racism.

    Next I was so fed up with being defriended by lefties I thought I would put the boot on the other foot and defriended a man who didn’t like the Spectator article which was critical of wave power technologies and started a big row with me about it, knowing I was right wing and had a subscription to the Spectator.

    Next I defriended a potential Tory MP whose only other “friends” were mad, left wing, public sector workers who told me they were offended by the sympathetic reply I made to his comment mourning the loss of Michael Gove from his position as Education Secretary.

    I am a recluse now. I have switched Facebook off and never see anyone: the whole country is full of left wing nutters. Thank God I am not divorced and my children are relatively sane.

    • gerontius

      I never switched facebook on. Does that make me a recluse?
      Actually, I didn’t realise that adults used facebook until I served on a jury. I thought that facebook was for children – was I incredulous or what?

      • No. I think only adults use it these days. Children use Instagram and snapchat.

        • Alexsandr

          companies use it to promote stuff, same as tw@tter. Unless you want to be advertised at, they are best ignored.

    • Tilly

      Your not a recluse, your normal, who are these strangers
      who believe themselves to be your friends-its creepy.
      The only things that matter are children, husbands, poetry,
      chocolate and not living in a goldfish bowl.

      • Porzellan

        English isn’t your first language, is it?

        • Tilly


        • you_kid

          America is not your home, is it?
          Homesick much, dawg?

          • Eh?

          • global city

            That’s fabian solutions, putting on an accent!

        • Guest

          I’ve red flagged the slanderous remark you made
          on the Bob Marley thread.Threats( like DT made) bulling and malicious remarks, that are
          different from teasing or dark humour are totally
          I have no idea who you are, you may be Sw y and I dont know who she is either, I’ve made mistakes, been too unusual and rattled on a bit
          but all lighthearted and have apologised to
          those I might have offended.I hope the earlier
          part of this post is understood.

        • Guest

          I’ve decided to un red flag you. As you haven’t threatened me like the other woman who has been red flagged. But no remarks to or about me and likewise. I have decided that this place had too many deluded Kippers floating round for me
          but I will be keeping an eye on slanderous comments, but do don’t strike me as being like her anyway. No need to respond
          I’ve guested my account so won’t get a response anyway.

    • Realismista

      I’m not on Facebook and resolutely resist its “temptations” despite being asked by many adults (I had thought it was for kids: silly me!) why I’m not on it. So, I will never enjoy the frisson of “de-friending” or being “de-friended”. Am I missing out on something?

      • Only if you know a sufficient number of left wing public servants on Fb. and enjoy a bit of lefty baiting. The climate is very censorious though, you can’t admit to any strong right wing or UKIP tendencies.

    • artemis in france

      Welcome to adulthood.

    • Catherine Waterman

      I enjoyed reading your post Alison. Bravo! By the way, you’ve reminded me of another reason why I shun Facebook and co – the ridiculously childish behaviour of ‘defriending’. It causes even the most mature adult to brood about it for days, probably because it harks back to school playground bullying.

      • Joyce Hackney

        I went onto facebook in order to keep in touch with relatives and
        friends. I find I ‘see’ more of some of them now than when we lived in
        the same Welsh town sixty years ago. A disadvantage is that friends’ of
        friends material shows up when I’m looking at facebook. This week I was
        forced to unfriend a classmate who’d contacted me only the previous week
        after fifty six years. An old forces chum of his was sending him dirty
        jokes containing offensive language and I was afraid other people’s
        grandchildren might come across them if they looked on my ‘timeline’.

        • Catherine Waterman

          One of my sons and his family live in Japan, so we connect through Skype, phone, email and even the occasional hand written letter or postcard. At least this keeps everything private and within the family. It must indeed be very annoying to find unfunny (most likely) dirty jokes on your Facebook page!

    • Tox66

      You’ve had an excellent year!

    • Chris Morriss

      Facebook. Will someone tell what the whole point of it is?

    • Patricia

      You have quality over quantity Alison !

  • gerontius

    Haven’t we moved on though?
    “working class” people don’t get married in the first place, so I read, somewhere.
    Rather makes divorce irrelevant for the lower orders.
    What’s worse I wonder: No marriage or marriage followed by divorce.

    My solution: Don’t get married, don’t get divorced, don’t have children, sleep around and have a really good time.

    • artemis in france

      All very well until you hit 60 and find yourself completely alone.

      • gerontius

        Hey, I’m that old!

        • Jankers

          just wait until you stink of piss aswell.

          • gerontius

            Is that what happened to you?

          • Jankers

            no but i hear it’s common in the over 60’s.

      • Porzellan

        Sixty is generous. For many that have pulled the plug on serious relationships it’s more like 50, or 40. I believe in marriage, even if I would never do it again.

  • little islander

    ‘almost a quarter of people (24 per cent) reporting that WE would find it hard to remain friends….’
    ‘revelatory about that 24 per cent – THEY were almost all absolutist, whining liberal lefties…’

    • gelert

      In other words, Guardianistas.

      • wudyermucuss

        Like the groaniad simply censors dissenting voices in its vile comment is free loonfest.

  • edithgrove

    I don’t think I have witnessed an angrier response from well-off probably labour-voting friends as when I told them I was considering (just considering) voting UKIP. I can only describe their reaction as somewhere on a scale between shrill and fascist. I’ve not heard from them since. It is the new taboo, I believe nothing else I could have told them, nothing, would have elicited so angry a response.

    • Tox66

      Sounds like you’re well off without them.

      • edithgrove

        I think so.

        • Alexsandr

          if they were friends they would accomodate your divergent views. clearly not friends.

          • MrsDBliss

            Funny is the same people would cheer on a TV programme with just that message, because the thing people had to be ‘true to themselves’ about would be something they agreed with. It’s easy to be pompous and self congratulatory when culture agrees with you.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Friends are a liability, as are family.
          Jack, isolated personality, Japan Alps

    • Zanderz

      I’m not telling anyone. I think there are a lot of people like me who will wait for the ballot box. I live in a fairly ‘diverse’ area and if I put a UKIP poster in my window I fear the the house will be stoned.

    • John Carins

      You will find many new and loyal friends in UKIP.

    • Callan

      There must be a lot of it about. Did you here the “impartiality selected audience” on the last Question Time cheering wildly at every LibDemLabourTory jibe and snide comment against UKIP while the comments of the UKIP panellist received not one handclap in support.

      • Linda Smith

        I usually find the viewers’ comments far more illuminating

      • Damaris Tighe

        I’m still wondering how the BBC finds these highly unrepresentative audiences. Maybe they advertise in the Guardian & the Listener?

        Since the Beeb & its establishment friends believe in affirmative action they should do whatever is needed to get white van men into the audiences to make them more representative. After all, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

      • John Steadman

        Ditto on Any Questions last week. One of the awful Labour Eagle lasses was the evening’s audience pin-up girl. Such a surprise.

    • Callan

      Make that “hear”.

    • Mc

      Sounds like you and Liddle have identified a faultless way of ridding oneself of pointless acquaintances.

    • Dr. Heath

      Labour voters, to judge by the behaviour of those of my colleagues who fall into that category, react in exactly the same ways whenever someone within earshot voices an opinion that outrages them. Horror. Incredulity. Rage over the fact that people who dare disagree with them should have the gall to walk the earth. Progressivism. It’s a form of religious belief. “Shrill” is always the default mode for reacting to infidels opening their heathen traps.

      • bionde

        When I worked for the BBC it was my great pleasure, once a year, to walk into the office and shout”Anyone want tickets for the Hunt Ball?”
        No one ever bought any but they hadn’t the balls to tackle me about it. Load of vegetarian wusses.

    • John Smith

      You had Labour voting friends . ..

    • That’s the Left for you: passionate and irrational.

    • Kennie

      Then make that consideration into a definite UKIP vote and ensure their ilk do not return to government.

    • Scradje

      It works both ways; if a ukipper told his ukipper friends that he may be voting Labour in the GE, what do you think would be the response?

      • Ridcully

        Most likely a shrug of the shoulders.

        • Gen d’Eau

          and a sad shake of the head. All done in the hope that their ‘special friend’ will wake up at some point and see the real world.

    • Stanley Broadbent

      If it’s your intention to stick to your guns, don’t you feel just a little bit free? These so called friends, didn’t you sometimes feel confined in what you could say, let alone what you could think?

      • edithgrove

        Well I’ve always found them thornberryesque, they have an abstract love of the ethnic poor from far-away, but a loathing of the British working classes. Until recently we found other things to talk about.

    • Mynydd

      Most likely they were angry that because there was no bed available for the men in white coats to take you to. No doubt this will change when we leave the EU and Mr Farage has privatised the NHS.

      • Ridcully

        Thank you for helping to prove edith- and Rod’s- point.

      • Gen d’Eau

        “No doubt this will change when we leave the EU and Mr Farage has privatised the NHS.”

        GREAT POINT! A privatised NHS would be bound to be more responsive (and efficient) to the actual needs of the public, you know, rather than incompetent bureaucrats and politicians.

    • mikewaller

      He was presumably deeply shocked to learn that a friend of his could actually be that dumb. As I have already suggested, UKIP, the SNP and Sinn Fein are all beneficiaries of the unwillingness of ordinary people to face up to the fact that the huge changes in the World economic order we are now experiencing mean that folks with white skins can no longer enjoy the hugely privileged position they had had in relation to the rest of the World’s p[population.

      Instead they prefer to believe that the going has got much rougher solely because of of the incompetence of their established political leaders. This is absolute nonsense because those leaders have a far better understanding of the new World order than do the voters. However desperate to get re-elected and knowing the usual fate of the poor old messenger, they keep quiet. In consequence, the dear old voter is increasingly falling prey to the three snake-oil sellers listed above.

      However anybody with any brain would realise that in seas as turbulent as those we are now entering it is best to be in the biggest boat possible (= Europe) rather than some highly vulnerable cockle-shell of our own making.

      • edithgrove

        “This is absolute nonsense because those leaders have a far better understanding of the new World order than do the voters.”

        that sounds suspiciously like the old order. Also you may not have noticed but the EU (which you so quaintly call ‘Europe’) is falling apart.

        • mikewaller

          The new World order to which I referred is one in which Caucasians + the Japanese no longer have a monopoly of technical expertise and as a result it will harder and harder to make our way as a trading nation. The late Simon Hoggart presented a brilliant TV series before the 1997 election called “The Hollow State”, a title which referred to the increasing helplessness of national governments in a globalised economy. One quotation from it is engraved on my heart. It was spoken by an American with a mid-Western drawl. “In a globalised market Mr Beckham [with his then outstanding skills set] can virtually write his own cheque; but if all you can do is coolie work, expect coolie wages”.

          And this I suspect is exactly what Osborne is starting to butt up against with his declining tax receipts (and his desperate need to drive down the welfare budget), but dare not tell us because the electorate will go into ostrich mode. Given this kind of future, it is extreme folly to even contemplate going it alone. In one form or another Europe will survive and if – as I very much expect -democracy starts to clash with globalisation, Europe will be our trade bloc of choice.

    • Hogspace

      I must be honest and admit I’ve been unfriending people (in real life) I found to be socialists and labour voters for several years.

  • Catherine Waterman

    Thankfully I don’t have a Facebook account, nor a proper Twitter account, only convenience versions of these in a pseudonym. I detest taking part in social media. I only use it for the purpose of logging into the Spectator and similar.

    I shocked my two sons by confessing that I’m sort of considering voting UKIP, having formerly voted Green. Fortunately, my sons are still talking to me, but they had to double check that I still had the full count of marbles rolling around in my brain.

    I’m hugely disappointed that UKIP will not be banning halal meat and may even bring back fox hunting. And they won’t raise taxes to pay for the NHS (though it’s good they intend to cut excessive management, quangos and so forth). Nevertheless, I still can’t find a political party worthy of my ‘X’.

    • Realismista

      “I shocked my two sons by confessing that I’m sort of considering voting UKIP, having formerly voted Green.”

      Perhaps they were shocked because your change of heart and mind seems so…radical…?

      • Catherine Waterman

        Yes, but my change of heart is because the left wing has lost its way. They (including the Greens and new feminists) have a blind spot when it comes to Islam. For instance, they purport to promote liberal democracy, free speech, and the like. And yet, they see nothing wrong in allowing the ‘freedom’ for women to wear the burqa/niqab which many leftists regard as ‘liberating’ for women. In fact, this garment represents the very opposite – female slavery and/or a passive aggressive two-finger salute to Western democracy. But I’ve droned on about this in other threads…I must say no more about it here!

    • Tilly

      You make a valid point Catherine, when a political party suggests they will be all things to all man and solve all the
      countries ills (regardless of us all having different requirements)They are setting themselves up for a massive
      fall. UKIP need to decide whose vote they’re after. No one
      can have their cake and eat it regardless of a moment of
      popularity. I shan’t vote myself. Looking for a mixture of
      Churchill, Thatcher and Wellington so shan’t bother.

  • mikewaller

    The above really is tedious nonsense. As the late, great Alistair Cooke said, this is one of those topics where two praiseworthy values conflict. On one hand, children should be raised within a secure and permanent home; on the other, individuals should not trapped in relationships they find wholly unsatisfactory. As far as I am aware, none of the lefties Liddle excoriates have ever said divorce is a jolly good thing; it is simply that they are deeply discomforted by the Law “caging” individuals on the basis of an external value system, as it used to do. To counter this, a great deal of effort is now being put into seeing if partnerships can be saved or at least broken up in the least damaging way possible for the children.

    All that said, I would agree that a divorcee such as Liddle has acted selfishly in giving his emotional needs primacy over those of his children. However, that is his problem to deal with and not something that he can project onto his fantasy lefties.

    One final point. Dragging gay marriage into this is simply a self-serving red herring.

    • gerontius

      “The above really is tedious nonsense”

      Perhaps you should defriend us all Mike.

      • mikewaller

        No, the missionary cannot choice his sinners, appalling though they may be! 🙂

        • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

          Whose ” ideals” are we trying to copy anyway? A real missionary shouldn’t think anyone is appalling. How can anyone choose who is a sinner? Even the Pope asks ” who am I to judge?”

    • Mike

      I disagree as Liddle has epitomised pretty much everything that are the traits of the bigoted left and all of us with open minds and eyes wide open can recognise this easily.

      A heterosexual relationship such as marriage is by far the best environment to bring up children to try and ensure a balanced education and development. Single parents can work but are not the ideal and neither are gay parents the ideal. Its a bit like saying a one legged man might be able to be a police officer but we all know due to his incapacity he will find it much more difficult to carry out his duties if in indeed he can. Without the male/female interaction, kids will develop but will not experience a balanced experience.

      • ‘the differences between the sexes’ — and the healthy, supportive ways that they relate to each other (as opposed to unsupportive/undermining/exploitative/manipulative etc.). As the first man in a girl’s life, the father is very important, not just as a parent but as an example of how a man should behave towards women.

        • StephanieJCW

          What if he behaves terribly to women?

          I think girls are capable of seeking positive examples beyond just their fathers (mine was my paternal grandfather.)

          • One would hope that he doesn’t. But one would hope also that he is his wife’s lover, and behaves accordingly.

    • In a way, it’s the fact of having children itself that is ‘caging’. But no one can wholly resent the ‘cage’ because it’s self-created, and because the duty of care to those one loves is never a completely unpleasant burden. Marriage is a moral responsibility, regardless of what the law says, and that’s why the mention of making it ‘easier’ under the law is missing the point.

      • StephanieJCW

        If you don’t love or even like your spouse, how can a duty of care to them be anything less than unpleasant.

        • Oh well that’s a completely different circumstance. But I think that if there was genuine love at the outset, the spouse doesn’t morph into a monster just because the marriage isn’t rewarding (unless he/she has been lying and is a crook, etc.). My point is that marriage at the start is really about only two people. As time goes on, it enlarges to include other people (including, as it may be, the family dog). So now you have to contemplate not only leaving the spouse but leaving everyone else as well. That may be too hard on you — and too hard on them.

          • William_Brown

            You talk a great deal of sense – Thank you.

          • Thank you : )

    • Statman

      Alistair Cook was a biased BBC clone liberal leftie , who made no attempt to balance his commentaries. To Cleggo-Blairite-Cameroons a single parent is a human rights lawyer with a Phillipino maid and a Norland nanny who spends’quality time ‘ with her privately educated kids. The metropolitan left have no conception of the damage neo feminist Marxist social policies have had on the wasteland of broken families and latchkey children of our vast underclass. The removal of traditional codes of behaviour has been disasterous to that group of our society.

      • StephanieJCW

        What are the feminist policies that have led to broken families and how would you undo them?

      • mikewaller

        Self-deluding nonsense. What has driven the enormous changes in social behaviour over the past 50 years has been one part politically inspired notions with regard human rights and nine parts the fantasies sold to consumers in order to shift consumer goods. Particularly commercial television, projects what are for most people wholly unattainable ways of living and ways of loving in order to stimulate the discontent that drives consumerism. And it is that discontent that has driven up the divorce-rate. As a result perfectly reasonable legislation designed to enable people trapped in wholly unsatisfactory marriages have been utilized by the likes of Liddle in pursuit of the impossible dream that the modern media continually suggests is just over the horizon. His was, after all, the “me, me, me” generation.

    • StephanieJCW

      Bloody brilliant post.

      I too am waiting to see those Leftie liberals who think divorce is brilliant and we should have more of it. I also believe Liddle was projecting his own piss poor relationship behaviour into all those who have sought to divorce for a variety of different reasons.

  • John Andrews

    I can just imagine the ESRC funding a questionnaire which asks if the respondent is:
    1) a Hitleresque rightie?
    2) a Stalinesque leftie?
    3) an absolutist, whining liberal leftie, whose capacity for intolerance is unbounded
    So let’s get rid of the ESRC. But my anecdotal evidence of telling people I support UKIP is in line with Rod’s report.

  • goatmince

    Don’t ever get married then you cannot get divorced – for real Catholics it’s much more exciting to live in sin anyway. It keeps life stable and the relationship interesting.

    • John Lea

      What complete waffle. You are well named.

    • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

      This is hard to swallow for some..but very true and quite correct I think. Well said, goatmince,

      • goatmince

        The vacant look in the eyes of a married man is a joy to behold. 😉

        • Porzellan

          You’re an idiot.

      • Porzellan

        That’s unworkable for people of different nationalities. I had to marry my husband or else I could not have lived with him. It was as simple as that.

        • you_kid

          You are an idiot

          • I don’t see how personal abuse is called for.

  • murraymm

    “— they were almost all absolutist, whining liberal lefties, whose capacity for intolerance is unbounded.”
    Those of whom you speak are invariably on the ‘atheistic’ left. As such, firstly, they acknowledge no authority higher than themselves, secondly, they possess an unshakeable belief in their own righteousness and, thirdly, are unable, philosophically, to distinguish the person with whom they disagree from the objectionable ideas, which that person espouses. The quote above follows fairly easily from these characteristics. The demise of Christianity in this country has resulted in a much less tolerant and more unforgiving society, where the state is slowly imposing the religion of such ‘liberals’ on the rest of us.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Hot tip of the year; if you do bite the bullet and combine emigration with foreign-born spouse acquisition, never, ever bring her back to live together with you in UK. Because in no time flat, corrosive UK feminism will turn her into the type of person you went international to avoid.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • The purpose for marriage is to (1) socialize the child into the worlds of BOTH men and women; and (2) teach male and female children, via 24/7/365 sensory/visual absorption of opposite-sex parents’ behaviors, how to behave in civilized society towards the opposite sex when adults. As such, homosexual marriage is a ludicrous concept that will contribute to the destruction of Western civilization, which its Marxist intellectual proponents know very well.*

    Civilization is dependent on heterosexual marriages/unions, which is why civilization has always encouraged the integration of the sexes via male/female unions, not encourage segregation of the sexes via same sex unions.

    The conditioning aspect of heterosexual marriage for children is paramount for reasons that both sides to this issue not only refuse to debate, both sides fail to even see the issue: And the issue has to do with the primary purposes for marriage: The socialization of children into the worlds of men and women, and the transmission to the child of adult behavior patterns, to be mimicked by the child when an adult. A child reared in same-sex marriages/unions naturally lacks these critical sex-specific inputs.

    Children need the 24/7/365 interplay between the mother and father that only heterosexual marriages offer, which enables the child to (1) learn how the sexes are to behave towards one another; and (2) encourage children to want to associate with the opposite sex (there are those children that can go either way towards wanting to associate with the opposite sex when adults).

    There is no argument to the FACT that children are not born with genes that acculturate them into the civilized worlds of both men AND women, let alone a “specialized socialization gene” attuned specifically to adjust a child to the specific requirements for gender relations within Western Civilization.

    Consistent with the evidence we see in inner city neighborhoods (referencing the United States), where a critical mass of fatherless homes is the norm, children are not pre-wired with a “civilization gene”, nor a “specialized socialization gene”. Children learn those skills from observing their parents 24/7/365. If children have same-sex parents, they learn less than half of the socialization skills necessary for the continuation of civilization.

    Civilization has a duty to encourage the integration of the sexes, not the segregation of the sexes, because segregation breeds disassociation, which is the breeding ground for hatred, hence homosexual marriage is not only contrary to civilization, it is nonsensical.

    Another Marxist-tasked sabotage policy that’s been pushed on Western Civilization that adversely affects children is easy divorce. Marriage is the most important institution for any society, so naturally when children see their parents divorce for the least of reasons, children naturally conclude that (1) Western civilization is a joke, since its most critical institution is seen to be a joke up close; and (2) people are nothing more than commodities, to be thrown away when they become an inconvenience to our base, narcissistic lifestyles.

    Of course, not unlike same-sex marriage, children of divorce are deprived of the socialization process of watching and learning from their opposite-sex parents, where the child learns how both males and females are supposed to behave towards each other. This critical deficit for children culminates into antisocial to sociopathic behaviors when adults.

    *The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested and detained the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; and (3) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation.

    • StephanieJCW


  • John Carins

    When LibLabCon policies over the years have eroded the institution of marriage why should we take your article seriously? Or is it because you have been directly affected; a realisation that these policies have been wrong. Now write an article that condemns the political interference and undermining of marriage. That might help bring some redemption.

  • Mike

    An excellent piece by RL that counters the apparent 24% who might defriend us if we back UKIP. Personally if I was defriended I’d reply to them on FB “and you can f*** off too”.

  • LordJustin

    In the eighties and nineties, the left tried to embarrass people in private and abuse them in public for voting Conservative. As a result, people who supported Thatcher and Major eschewed debate, and kept their views to themselves.

    That is why the leftie media were continually surprised by where the Tory majorities came from in every election from 1979 to 1992, when John Major confounded the left by soundly defeating the self-aggrandising, Welsh windbag Kinoch, whom the leftie media had been treating as PM in waiting for the preceding year.

    Thank God for the Secret Ballot Act 1872, or they’d be out with their clip boards in the office car park in every town where UKIP has a chance, taking names for future reference.

    • Mc

      As an aside, interestingly Jersey doesn’t have a secret ballot (a unique reference number shown next to each registered voter is written on one’s ballot paper by the election officer before he hands you the ballot paper). Which partly explains why Jersey is such an icestuously corrupt little place.

  • leongillingham

    God, so yr an ex bbc today editor who denounces the metro left, an ex comments string lurker sock puppet who denounces left wing snark, and now a divorcee involved in pretty public and discreditable marital conduct, denouncing those who might denounce a report that says the sort of divorces and marital chaos youve been part of, screws kids up.
    how do you keep track of yourself rod? you must use an index card system or something.

  • Bonzo

    Sadly, all too true, Rod. The liberal left/bien pensant have created a climate where disagreement with their political views is considered immoral, thus alienating a large part of the electorate. Still, on the amusing side, this has, inevitably, created a backlash as evidenced in RL’s article. As ye sow so shall ye reap.

  • Ambientereal

    The huge percentage of divorcees and divorce-children is not due to easy divorce laws but due to divorce itself, which is the result of bad conditions reigning in our society to keep a couple together. Couples split too easy or better said too frequently because a number of causes that are related to our present way of life but not because it is “easy” in the sense “not difficult”

  • Beverly Stevens

    SHARING on Regina Magazine Facebook

  • Ne11y

    It’s not just Facebook defriending. I was attacked openly in a restaurant by two ‘friends’ for suggesting that fathers are crucial in the upbringing of children and quoting statistics on the harm done to children of divorce and single parents. I don’t see them anymore.

  • Pacificweather

    Rod Liddle has stumbled on a little known truth that poor people have it harder than rich people. Come on Rod you can do better that that.

    • The Masked Marvel

      No, he can’t, really. Rod knew going in that poor people have it harder, because that’s his thing. What he’s done is seize on yet another issue on which he can appear to stand up for common sense (often interpreted as more traditional, conservative principles) while his real goal is to attack the modern Left again. You know, the ones who, for example, called him a racist and stopped inviting him to dinner parties for suggesting that, on balance, there might have been one or two negative affects from rapid, mass immigration, for his non-PC remarks about black youth and crime, or for his less than enthusiastic response to the BBC’s St. Nelson Mandela Watch. One senses a pattern there, but never mind.

      The group he refers to elsewhere as the “faux Left” are the target here. Rod has written on a number of occasions about how they do not actually care about the poor like he does, and that their actions prove it. Rod cares deeply about the poor, you see, and the modern liberal Left do not. This time, it’s about how the “faux Left” (Rod is the genuine, old Labour article, you see) have made divorce easier for themselves, for their own gain (selfish, whining monkeys that they are), even though it harms the poorest and most vulnerable.

      Being an experienced editor and wordsmith, he’s very good at this game, but it’s a game nevertheless.

      • Well some of us warmly salute Rod Little for consistently standing up for common sense, attacking the whingeing ill-liberal Lefties and rightly damning political correctness, its all a most refreshing standpoint. Well done Rodders, keep on banging on, its obviously having an effect.

  • David

    Are you honestly suggesting rod that my own personal happiness is not the most important thing in the universe? Does not compute.

  • Scheveningen

    Absolutely spot on Rod! I too am a (passive i.e. I didn’t want it) divorcee and have witnessed the harmful effects on our daughter who suffers from a variety of anxieties although, being well-off middle-class people, we could shelter her from some of the worst effects. How I loathe the bien-pensant liberal bourgeoisie (e.g. Roy Jenkins) who have propagated these baneful ideas and practices.

  • grimm

    Another unpopular/unwelcome statistic is that the majority of divorces are instigated by women. Feminist propaganda has been promoting the notion that husbands are useless and unnecessary, that the children of a marriage naturally “belong” to the mother and the father should not expect anything after a divorce other than some barely tolerated access time. The balance of power in the developed world is shifting in favour of women and men are paying the price.

    • StephanieJCW

      I wonder what the true reason is women instigate more divorced? I think it’s less feminist propoganda and more they just become tired of being taken for granted and responsible for the bulk of the work of caring and household responsibilities.

      Plus society puts more pressure on women to marry so more probably marry someone they are ill-suited to.

      Anyway the fact that an individual files for divorce doesn’t tell you whose behaviour caused the marriage to fail.

      • My mother divorced my dad because she didn’t fancy him any more and more especially because she was bored with her life — neither of which were his fault. He has long since remarried and had a successful life; she flailed from one failed relationship to another, and from scheme to scheme, which I might have more tolerance for if there were any genuine ambition or vision behind them. She’s poor and lonely, he’s well-off and secure. Multiply this story by many millions, and that’s what happens to women that instigate divorce.

        • StephanieJCW

          Do you have actual data proving your assertion as to why women instigate divorce?

          I don’t think it’s as easy as assuming most women felt as your mother did.

          • Put it this way: I’ve lived a lot of years on two continents (the third one isn’t relevant) and I have known and listened to a lot of divorced women. And they are generally not women that are abused, with a useless man in tow. Usually they are bored and restless. I don’t claim to be a parliamentary commission but that IS how I see it.

      • Max07

        I suspect that more women instigate divorce simply because they know that the courts will look after their interests. Men, particularly those with children, are likely to lose out in just about every way. People do what they feel they can get away with.

  • John Smith

    ‘they were almost all absolutist, whining liberal lefties, whose capacity for intolerance is unbounded’

    Normally working in the public sector, common purpose, at a non Russell Group University, or on benefits, or all of them

  • Anna Wigley

    .Thanks, Rod Liddle, for saying what everybody knows but nobody admits. I don’t know a single child of divorce who wouldn’t have wanted their parents to stay together. In a generation or two marriage will be completely discredited and the whole concept of commitment will be viewed as an inconceivable tyranny.

    • StephanieJCW

      Hi Anna nice to meet you!

      I would never have wanted my parents to remain in their “relationship” and have a number of acquaintances who feel likewise about their divorced parents (some even went as far as to sit each parent down individually and instruct them to get a divorce.)

  • StephanieJCW

    Do most left liberals think divorce is a wonderful thing? None I have ever met. Most people I know think it’s sad, a sad, but necessary evil.

    Comparing the outcomes of the children of divorce to those of parents who remain married isn’t as simple as Liddle pretends.

    For starters it’s a false comparison. You would have to restrict a comparison to those who divorce, and those who decide to live in misery and muddle through for the sake of the kids. A happy marriage is of course going to produce the best results.

    To add I oppose tax breaks for married couples not because of any special preference for unmarried couples or wishing to avoid judgment.

    But simply because I don’t think a little but of extra cash will suddenly cause people, who have no interest in marrying to get married.

    Also because, unlike Liddle I believe it is important to distinguish between cause and correlation. Something this entire article fails to do. If marriage CAUSES greater stability there could be argument for a tax break (assuming people would marry and remain married for the tax break.) however if is the case that people who are in stable relationships are more likely to seek to marry, then it becomes a waste of money.

    Also under a married tax break scheme you would have the bizarre situation where a single person, unable to benefit from the cost savings couples enjoy, would lose out even more through having a higher tax rate than a married couple.


    • I think the point about tax breaks is that there is currently a marriage penalty — though how this is figured, I don’t profess to know. The idea then is not that ‘tax breaks’ reward people for marrying but rather that they seek to remove the penalty, or mitigate it.

      • StephanieJCW

        Except there isn’t a financial penalty from being married. Or at least nobody has explained how a non married couple benefit financially where a married couple lose out.

    • “…and those who decide to live in misery and muddle through for the sake of the kids.”

      The sake of the kids is a noble reason, and so is the concept of family, which keeps the “miserable” couple together even after the kids are adults. Once one marries, barring a horrible crime committed by a spouse, marriage must be viewed as a sacred institution, an institution that civilization is based upon.

      Of course, for the sake of the children too, “miserable” spouses must put up a brave front for the children, lest the children when adults feel a need not to repeat their parents’ mistake. This entails adults actually biting the bullet and behaving as adults, not pouting children. Today, social policy pays homage to the “pouting rule”, that rule stating that if you’re not blissful or self-fulfilled, you’re needlessly suffering.

  • avi15

    Divorce also feeds an army of vicious lawyers who make a very good living thank you very much from families’ misery. Never mind all the guff about finding consensual solutions: that is all ignored in proportion to the amount of money involved. Since it is easy to make anything look like anything in a court of law, prepare to have your private life and your foibles picked to bits by a bunch of sanctimonious, self-satisfied, overpaid, hypocritical lawyers, who all the while proclaim their humanity. That’s why I no longer work as lawyer in ‘matrimonial law’ as it is still pompously referred to. I prefer to be broke.

  • Bumble Bee

    actually, it would be me, myself and I, who’d feel a need to change friends, if they had a problem with me voting UKIP

  • beenzrgud

    “defriended” by lefties, what’s not to like !

  • victor67

    Careful Rod your love in with the Faragists might upset the dirty digger .

  • chump23

    I can’t recall anyone anywhere saying more divorce was a ‘bloody good thing’. The fact that women are financially indepenent enough to leave bad marriages is surely a good thing as is the fact that courts divide assets equitably.
    What figures does Rod have on the impact of continuing domestic violence and generally rubbish parenting on children? Rather harder to research I guess, but easier for a bitter divorcee to ignore.
    This is not an arguement about right and left or liberals and conservatives no matter how much Rod would like us to believe,

  • somewhereinthesouth

    The Liberal left reaction is actually an overreaction suggesting a raw nerve is being touched. This is likely to be for two reasons firstly supporting UKIP is tantamount to blasphemy and secondly it suggests that that unconsciously believe you may be right ,and since this thought can’t be admitted openly [ even to themselves ] there is denial and a hateful/paranoid schizoid reaction – rather than a cool attempt one might expect from such people i.e. to look at the issues and which their misguided polices have created .

    Massive public sector debt [ and an inability to finance future expenditure let alone current spending]
    The largest ever wave immigration the country has ever seen in its history with our , the population potentially more than doubling by the next century , may be to over 130 million [ and reaching over 75 by around 2035. And the The implications of this are ?
    Lower wages [ or no growth in pay ] for the poorest.
    Massive overcrowding of our cities causing problems of poor health, poverty , and possibly crime. Whole towns or neighbourhoods losing thier British culture
    Massive house building which will involve huge increases in density and substantial Greenfield development in the countryside [ A city the size of Birmingham is needed every 2 years or so ]
    A massive increase in traffic congestion and overcrowding of public transport/airports etc
    A need to spend massively more on the already seriously overloaded NHS [due in part of immigration to date] , more schools / teachers and pensions [ at time when the government can even afford to cover the costs of running the esefvicers now and in fact is massively in debt]. In other words the destruction of the welfare state as we know it will result.

    The government and the liberal / left establishment who run the show hasn’t even begun to know how to address these problems [ let alone actually do much] which will blow apart the cosy post war consensus on the welfare state and dramatically change our relationships with the EU and indeed other parts of the world. No ifs or buts ,if we don’t control immigration disaster faces the country and the liberal elite [ who so far haven’t been too affected by immigration].
    Thats why you get the reaction you do from the left , because these problems are the result of the polices adopted by the liberal left for decades … and now they unravelling..

  • Gen d’Eau

    “felt warmth and fellowship towards Nigel Farage”

    I’m sure there are many people who view Nigel as a likely entertaining guy to split a bottle with, but are somewhat less than enthused with the image of him as Prime Minister.

    I have, and will continue to vote for his party, until the rest of the political class start addressing the issues that us in the peasant class (anyone outside Westminster / anyone who isn’t extremely rich) want addressed.

    The fact these bien pensant types abhor UKIP and yet so many others are going to vote for it despite recognising some of the issues with it (lack of strategy, poor presentation of ideas – that’s what I’m talking about)…should cause the luvvies to have calm reflection on the UK political scene at the moment. They should come back to reality and talk about real issues (if they’re capable of that) or get swept away as not fit for purpose (the establishment is packed with them).

    I hope UKIP gets to drive the policies of the next parliament. If they do that well, I’ll consider whether I hope for even more the next time.

    Dave has no credibility.
    Ed has no clue.
    Nick has no relevance.

    Their parties need to stop p155ing and moaning about UKIP and offer something better that UKIP.

  • Another thought: I read a news story years ago about a study of those that had thought of divorce but had decided against it for whatever reason. (I don’t know how these people were found or any other details — sorry.) The upshot is that five years later, most of the couples reported that they were glad they had not divorced but had stuck it out. It’s not the case that everyone would be better sticking it out, of course. But couples DO have rough patches and it IS possible to ride them out, leading to a new and happier understanding. Often, it’s not the circumstances that need to change, i.e. one’s marital status, but rather the way one looks at them.

    I read the other day about the model, Rachel Hunter. Only she knows what she wants from life, but as an outsider looking in it seems clear to me that her life since Rod Stewart has not delivered the happily ever after that she no doubt was looking for. It certainly hasn’t delivered a second marriage. In my own view, which she may or may not share at this point, she would have been better off keeping together with Rod, even if the terms of their life together in some way had to change. In short, people do make very serious mistakes. They think they’re turning the nose of the plane up, when in fact they’re headed straight for the ocean.

  • andylowings

    I only invited the next door neighbors to celebrate the Queens Jubilee and was sworn at!

  • ArthurSparknottle

    Really enjoy Rod’s scurrilous roasting of lefty pomposity and self importance.

    However, I’d be wary myself of attributing a causal relationship between some of the ills that are known to befall children of single mothers and divorce itself, since it is also known that the children of single mothers predominantly consists of lower social class kids. Divorce may seem to go hand in hand with poor life outcomes, but the actual cause may be more realated to the host of culural ills which accompany it, such as low standards of parental education, low expectation, and anti-social attitudes. I think it was only last week that Rod was writing about how the middle class were less likely to divorce than the culturally less well endowed.

  • CJames

    Replace ‘liberal left’ and all your various euphemisms for this group with ‘right wing’ or something similar, and you begin to sound like the group of people you are criticising. I’m sick of this kind of writing which imagines everyone that disagrees with them as inhabiting only a one-dimensional space on a over-simplified political spectrum, and then makes up contradictions on their behalf. For example: according to this writer, the ‘liberal-left’ just *love* homosexual marriage, but hate hetrosexual marriage and want to undermine this by encouraging the individual’s ability to divorce. Not only is this untrue, but it caricatures opinions and thoughts as tribalistic sentiment and emotion. What appears to you to be an effort to ‘undermine’ the ‘institution’ of hetrosexual marriage is probably an effort to support an individual’s right to determine their life and not be trapped in a bad relationship/household. I think the emphasis here on the individual’s right to choose what happens in their life, is pretty consistent with a support of homosexual marriage. I can barely reach the end of these articles – they foster the tribalism and simplistic thinking that they claim to criticise – clue up and try writing something engaging rather than a long rant dressed as journalism. Deeply hypocritical.

    • The_greyhound

      Mr Liddle really has rattled your smug little complacencies, hasn’t he?

  • chxxlie

    I agree with the opening point and it saddens me to see so many on the left simply try to shut down or turn away from arguments rather than actually engage in them. Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, I should hope you arrived there through some serious contemplation. If there’s a racist in your facebook feed, CONGRATULATIONS!! You have an “in”! Get in there and tell them why they’re wr… wait… DID YOU JUST CUT OFF ALL TIES TO THAT PERSON?!

    Idiots at both ends.

    I consider myself left-leaning and concede that the biggest problem we face probably comes from within our own ranks. Superficial “liberalism” has become the mainstream and too many just go along with what sounds appropriate to it (an issue, though hardly the left-wing conspiracy some Speccie writers would have you believe).

    That said, the rest of this article is simply jamming stats into Liddle’s oversimplified viewpoint. What becomes of kids raised in unhappy families that don’t get divorced? How much of the damage is done prior to the parents seperation? Maybe the problem is that it’s too easy to get married and have kids before you know what you want out of a relationship, rather than divorce itself. It isn’t as simple as Liddle would like it to be. As far as rash, ill-considered life decisions go, I don’t doubt that marriages and pregnancies outweigh divorces quite considerably. How many people really get divorced on a whim or by mistake?

    Kids need good role models. Two happy parents who have moved on from each other but not their children will probably make better ones than two living together in misery because they think divorcing is going to turn little Tommy into a violent sociopath. Making divorce more difficult is only going to turn parents against each other, whether they’re going through the process or avoiding it because it isn’t easy enough.

  • puffletino

    Forgive me if this is rude, I don’t mean to be personal here, but you have brought up that you yourself are a divorcee. Would it have been better, then, in your view, if the State had done more to keep you together with your ex-wife? Would that have led to better outcomes for your kids? And all the other people who divorce, was it better for society (as in the old days) when it was nearly impossible to leave – would that have meant that all of their kids had bright happy academically and financially rewarding lives? I am afraid I somehow doubt it.
    ‘From the crooked timber of man, no straight thing was ever made.’; If people are more inclined to be unstable and unhappy, you can put any amount of institutions to try and bind them together, but they will still be unhappy and pass that on to their kids. Likewise people who are happy and stable (broadly speaking) are able to flourish both in and out of any institution (it is much rarer for people to get formally married in Sweden for example, yet they have much more stable family lives on the whole than we do). It seems to me we fetishize the institution (not that there is anything wrong with it as such) not understanding that it is what you bring to it that makes the difference.

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    What are you doing with Labour-voting friends in the first place?

  • Mike E

    I have also always wondered why the same people that hate marriage when it is between a man and a woman, sees marriage as the most important thing in the universe when it is between homosexuals. Even Christianity has to change because the homosexuals obviously can’t function if they can’t get married in a church. It’s truly bizarre.

  • pp22pp

    I just unfriended a leftie for allowing my profile to be sullied by some crap about how era-themed parties are racist, because they make persons of colour feel uncomfortable.