Was in the process of my annual housecleaning of old files and the like, when I found this little gem from 2006. If you want to know what the fathers rights movement was and is about, start with Fathers 4 Justice (F4K). It was quickly overrun with abusive, threatening control freak men with histories of domestic violence--and ended with a threat to kidnap former Prime Minister Tony Blair's son. Whether a fathers rights organizations is characterized as "moderate" or "hardline" matters little--they are all more or less infested with the same terrorist personality types.
Fathers give up campaign
By Sarah Womack and George Jones 12:01AM GMT 19 Jan 2006
Fathers 4 Justice, the radical campaign group for men involved in child custody battles, was disbanded last night after allegations that extremist elements were plotting to kidnap Tony Blair's five-year-old son Leo.
Matt O'Connor, the founder, said that after endless feuding in the group and dangerous activities by those on its fringes he had concluded that mothers were simply more mature than fathers.
"There may be a repeat of these sorts of antics and it would do serious damage to the debate and what we have achieved," he said.
"My view is that fathers are not ready for the changes we want to see in this country. They are part of the problem, not the solution, and they are perverting the cause.
"The truth is that our organisation has been run largely by women for two years. A nine-month pregnant woman will turn up and walk for miles at one of our demonstrations while an able- bodied father can't be bothered. We will speak to other groups such as Families Need Fathers and will not leave people in the lurch.
"But this organisation has come to its natural conclusion. I am almost past caring and want a good night's sleep; I have a newborn baby."
Last night Terence Bates, a spokesman for Real Fathers 4 Justice, a splinter group, said that his group's campaign would go on.
Downing Street refused to comment on the specific allegations about the "plot", which was apparently uncovered by Special Branch officers, but officials did not deny the report in The Sun.
Mr Blair's official spokesman confirmed that the Government, police and security services were concerned about the militant tactics adopted by extreme fringe groups. But No 10 angrily denied a report on Sky News suggesting that it had leaked the story to distract attention from the row engulfing Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, over sex offenders in schools.
Mr O'Connor, 38, who is divorced with two sons by his former wife and a three-week-old son by a new partner, said he had expelled about 30 members last year for talking about carrying out extreme stunts. Police had told him that anti-terrorism officers had visited former members of the group over Christmas.
"Anyone who considers kidnapping a five-year-old boy needs their head testing," he said.
Channel Four News said that members of the group claimed that they had been infiltrated by a police informer and that he had proposed the idea of the kidnapping.
In the three years since Fathers 4 Justice was formed, the issue of a father's right has been forced up the Government's lists of priorities.
The group has staged lighthearted stunts such as crane-top protests in comic strip outfits and scaled Big Ben. In 2004 it penetrated the Commons and flour-bombed the Prime Minister.
Campaigners have become increasingly confrontational - solicitors have been bombarded with abusive e-mails, court offices stormed and judges visited at their homes.
This led to accusations from lawyers and ex-wives that the organisation had created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear. Some former wives and girlfriends of the group's members described break-ups of their relationships involving violence, being forced to live in refuges and incidents in which their children witnessed frightening aggression by their fathers.
Two years ago anti-terrorist police were called in to investigate the sending of 60 hoax bombs to family court offices around the country by extremists - denounced by Fathers 4 Justice - demanding better rights for fathers.
Mr Bates told Channel 4 News: "Mr O'Connor should have done this more than a year ago. There were members within Fathers 4 Justice a year ago who were very unhappy with the way things were going.
"Nothing has really changed in family law - there are still huge problems." He said that many people had left the organisation because "Mr O'Connor has failed to move it forward". Mr O'Connor has also been accused of becoming autocratic.
Mr Bates said that the allegation of a kidnap plot was "absolute nonsense". He added: "There is no dark underbelly of extremist fathers within the organisation which Matt speaks about. There is no organised, extreme terrorist-type group planning to kidnap the Prime Minister's children."