Wednesday, 28 March 2007

"2, 4, 6, 8, We don't need your Nanny State!"

First, a message from "our" Prime Minister [cue music]:
New Zealand has it on its conscience that our rate of child death and injury from violence, including in the home, is appalling.

It is a stain on our international reputation, and I cannot see how those who are demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children can possibly then turn around and confess concern about what is happening to our children.
There endeth the fireside chat, which appeared on the front page of this morning's Herald. There are four things to say about this.

The first is this: "You patronising bitch." "Our" children, you say? Our children! I didn't kill them. I didn't thrash or beat anybody's children. I have nothing on my conscience, and neither do the good parents of all those children who are unbeaten, unthrashed, and unassaulted, but who you want to criminalise.

The second is this: "You damned patronising bitch." Smacking is not beating; smacking is not thrashing; and both thrashing and beating are already illegal -- and you are either too ignorant to know that, which no-one believes, or by now you are so used to treating us as idiots and feeding us with spin that you think you can go to that well forever. You can't. If you and your supporters really don't know the difference, then can I suggest you be kept away from other people's children -- and if this is really the best you can do, it suggests that your 'argument' really isn't one. Smacking is not beating.

Another point to make is the one made by Lindsay Mitchell this morning:
New Zealanders are badly aggrieved because they feel everybody is being scrutinised and dictated to when the kind of maltreatment the Prime Minister describes happens to children is almost exclusively a very small minority of the population... [As recent research shows, that "small minority"] of children who were maltreated were more likely to have a mother with less than a high school education, more likely to have a father in jail ... more likely to have been on welfare ... and more likely to have had a mother who was a teenager at the time of her child's birth.
In other words, these are people who have been condemned by thirty years of successive Government policies; if there is an underclass, then this "small minority" is it -- and you, Helen, and all your antecedents are responsible. As Lindsay says, "I would suggest to the Prime Minister she takes off her ideological blinkers and starts thinking seriously about how to reduce the size of the group from which most of the problems hail. Until she and her fellow travellers do so, she has no right to claim a genuine concern for abused children" -- particularly since it is she and the policies of her and her fellow travellers who have put those children in harm's way.

Genuine concern? There is no genuine concern. I'll repeat this point again, since it's so obvious even Helen must be aware of it. Passing this Bill will do nothing -- nothing -- to stop that very small minority of bastards from beating their children. The law already outlaws beating your children, and those bastards aren't listening. They don't care. They just go on doing it anyway.

Further, as Michelle Wilkinson-Smith said in yesterday's Herald, "I challenge anyone to find a case where section 59 has excused a real bashing that left a child injured." This law won't stop the beaters, and the current law doesn't excuse them; but it will criminalise good parents who do take responsibility for the actions of their children.

On behalf of all those parents, let me just say this very simply: "Butt out, Helen!"

At noon today, marchers on Parliament will have a chance to make their opposition known to those within -- to those wavering Labour MPs in marginal seats, to the Maori Party MPs who are hearing from their constituents opposed to the Bill, to the NZ First MPs threatened with demotion, to the whole damned Parliament who need to realise that nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders want Nanny to butt out.

Join them at noon in Wellington's Civic Square, and let's hear you say it loud: "2, 4, 6, 8, We don't need your Nanny State!"

UPDATE 1: Anti-anti-smacking march organiser Mitch Lees has a last-minute 'heads up' for marchers.

UPDATE 2: First news comes out of the anti-anti-smacking rally via Lindsay Mitchell, who reports,
It was worth going on the rally to Parliament for this moment alone;
"You are not the child abusers," libertarian Lindsay Perigo exhorted the 5-600 strong crowd, "We all know who the child-abusers are. They are the people who have children they don't want because those people in there," spinning and pointing to the Beehive, "are paying them to do it. They are the child abusers."
The crowd was momentarily stunned. I clapped loudly. And so did a few others. That is cutting to the heart of the matter.
No pictures up at Scoop yet, which is unusual since most every other protest at Parliament gets oodles of pics posted at Scoop the moment they show up in the forecourt ...


  1. This is your best blog posting yet. Sadly, I'm not in Wellington to add my voice or body to the march.

  2. Robert Winefield28 Mar 2007, 13:47:00

    Best of luck lads. Stick it to them. I wish I was there.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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