The alleged 'world exclusive' on the front page of last Wednesday's Sun - 'Plot to kidnap Leo Blair. Cops foil Fathers 4 Justice extremists' - was such self-evident tripe that, ever since, the rest of Fleet Street has been doing what we do best: kicking a rival when it's down. The 'plot' turned out to be an off-the-cuff remark an undercover police officer heard one F4J campaigner make to another as they downed pints in a London pub, which either the police or Downing Street leaked to the Sun.Yes, I am sure the family lawyers and court staff have been denounced. If the situation in England is anything like the United States, they include some of the most evil and corrupt people that I have ever met.
There was no conspiracy; if there had been, the police would have thrown the militant fathers into prison. Everyone was laughing about the pseudo scoop, except Matt O'Connor, the leader of Fathers 4 Justice, who promptly closed down his own group. He at least knew that the risk of violence was real, however silly the story was.
The 'plot' to kidnap the PM's son may have been pub talk, but far away from Downing Street, there has been a genuine low-level terror campaign. If you had logged into the chatrooms and message boards of extreme fathers' rights websites in 2004, you would have found wild denunciations of family lawyers and court staff.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
No F4J plot
The F4J plot turned out to be nothing: