Pic: Nick Langford and his son at a Fathers4Justice protest
In any large, long-term campaign that embraces 40,000 plus families and has been running for nearly 15 years, there are continuing changes to personnel as people inevitably come and go as circumstances change. In the vast majority of cases, we retain excellent relationships with all our volunteers, both past and present, without whom this campaign would not exist, and to whom we are deeply indebted.
In November 2012, Fathers4Justice parted company with volunteer Nick Langford, who was a research co-ordinator between 2007-12, after he said he no longer supported a presumption of shared parenting, a key tenet of our campaign since 2001. Given this shift in his position, and how this conflicted with F4J, we parted company amicably.
Nick never raised any issues, problems or complaints with Fathers4Justice in his time working as a part-time volunteer with us. To the contrary, Nick and his family were not only given financial support by F4J, Nadine and Nadine’s parents, but Nick was offered a paid full-time role in F4J shortly before he left. As Nick’s own emails confirm, we parted company amicably and on good terms.
Why he has since chosen to make a series of hurtful and dishonest allegations about the campaign that was his home, is a matter of profound sadness and regret. When asked to return Fathers4Justice property, including an iPad, Nick Langford refused and the police were involved in recovering it.
Pic: Right to Left – Ruth Langford (nee Mackay), Nick Langford and Matt O’Connor at a Fathers4Justice protest
…I am deeply grateful and proud to have been a part of this remarkable campaign. I shall have, I think, only good memories of F4J – it has been an extraordinary journey, and one which has enabled me to keep my sanity and my integrity through immensely difficult times, and emerge, I hope, a better, wiser and more compassionate human being. You have been an inspiration and a life-line.
My lycra still hangs in my wardrobe, waiting…
On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:25 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Hi Nick, it was great to see you, Ruth and the family for lunch the other weekend.
After much contemplation we have taken on board both your comments about the amount of time you spend on F4J related work. As Ruth said she has become a ‘Handbook Widow’ and we appreciate that now your circumstances have changed that this isn’t fair on you or your family.
It’s clear from your comments about your increasing amount of work with Wikivorce and plans for setting up your own local support and advicemeetings that there are other important priorities you and Ruth should be focused on.
Equally, it appears your support for F4J (our position and principles) has shifted given our recent emails and conversations. On several key issues your position has recently changed. Whether it is your support for working within the system or adopting a children’s rights perspective, neither of which are in accord with our long held, well established principles. It is folly to expect that a system so rotten to the core as this can be changed from the inside. This has, and will always be, our position.
Nick, can we thank you for all your hard work and endeavours over the years for Fathers4Justice which like any volunteer work, always goes beyond the call of duty. All of us in the campaign are greatly indebted to you for your contribution.
It would have been great to have had you on board full time as part of the team working on F4J and our other projects and we are sorry your other commitments and circumstances prevented this. We will now manage all updates to all our documents, forum and Facebook page.
We wish you, Ruth and the family every success with your future endeavours and will always leave a supersuit hanging in our wardrobe for you.
All our best wishes
Matt & Nadine
Nick Langford’s supportive review of Matt O’Connor’s Book