Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Archbishop and the law commission

The Law Commissions ideas of what they call rights for cohabiting couples look to me more like rights of cohabiting people over each others property and assets.

The spin in the media, and the concern of the Archbishop, appears to be the erosion of marriage. However this looks to me more like compulsory state marriage ! Or the common law marriage that we are told doesn't exist.

Marriage costs - if you just turn up at the registary office - are cheap. This isn't the barrier to people getting married. A good friend of mine married his wife in a prelonged coffee break at work ! We all nipped down to Weybridge registry office and were all back at work within the hour.

I'm guessing a lot of the partners who aren't married are making strategic decisions about keeping control of their assets. This move would make this cynacism ( we don't need a bit of paper to confirm our love dear etc ) much harder.

I'm not sure its the Archbishop who should be worried ......

See BBC News article

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/5068472.stm

4 comments:

Geisha said...

I'm certain that lots of men (and some women) are crapping themselves that their girlfriends will have rights. My bf certainly is. The thing is though, why shouldn't us women have rights? We cook, clean, iron, clean bathrooms, etc etc. We work full-time and raise kids while the men sit watching the football. Bring it on I say!

Northwing said...

At one level its also evident that the Law Commission take a huge portion of blame for incubating the 'entitlement over duty' culture that most of us despise.

It is their lack of moral clarity and relativist values that is helping to fragment society, and the legal system is in dire need of reshaping. I dont know about you but I believe we need to revoke the supremacy of European Human Rights law as a starting point and we need to re-educate the judiciary.

As far as Marriage as an institution is concerned we need to re-invest social capital in it and give it the status it deserves - as something profoundly good. We need proper tax incentives, and we need to ensure that marriage and family life is positively promoted and taught in Schools. I dont gripe about this because I dont see the importance of catering for different lifestyles, but because we have lost orthodoxy altogether.

And isnt it just also true that in a free for all society which loses the concept of duty and volunteerism, a big state is needed to keep everyone under control . . .

Man in a shed said...

Geisha wouldn't the rights you'd like be best represented by marriage? Or are you wanting to keep a get out open from your bf. What specifically would you like ?

Northwing - couldn't agree with you more on the status of marriage. I think the morality in the UK came from an official Christian tradition. This has now been surpassed in the classes that now govern us from the media and Labour party. It cannot be long before polygamy is legalised ( you need a moral basis to refuse this argument and they have none ) - I'm sure this will be framed as in terms if Islamic rights etc in the next 5-10 years. ( Unofficially it already goes on in some parts of the UK. )

Oddly enough, on the specific point, I think what is happening is the cohabiting population is now ageing - and hitting all the problems that marriage usually helps with. (Child rights/ share of assets etc).

I believe anything on the lines of the Law Commissions ideas would be hit big time by a wave of unintended consequences- eg:
1) People live yet longer with their parents.
2) A lot of relationships break up just before the asset sharing point. ( Could create a sort of relationship bed and breakfast situation where at the end of the period before rights someone shoots of somewhere else for a week then comes back to start the clock ticking again ).
3) Housing shortage as people keep 2 homes instead of one.
4) Lawyers will grow yet richer – and won't let anyone cohabit with them..

ContraTory said...

4) sounds good to me...