Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Child beaters won't listen anyway

I paraphrase from Lindsay Mitchell:
Just as micro-chipping dogs does not stop dog attacks, neither will repeal of section 59 stop child abuse.
As Lindsay says, Sue Bradford's bill is a red herring. Removal of section 59 won't stop child abuse because child abuse is already against the law -- and none of the child abusers care. Removal of section 59 won't stop child abuse because it won't tackle the causes of child abuse, but it will make criminals out of good parents.

But good parents won't get prosecuted, you say? Remember to whom you're giving discretion: to Clint Rickards' colleagues. D'you trust Clint et al to exercise power with discretion?

Notice too that Sue Bradford, the promoter of repeal, says we'll all need to be re-educated to conform to her view of the world. As I've said before, this is about far more than just smacking: it's about getting the state further into families.

PS: Do you think the Pink Tories will overturn this when or if they come to power? Don't make me laugh.

UPDATE: Discretion? Don't make me laugh, says Police Association president Greg O'Connor [hat tip Sir Humph]:
O'Connor said police guidelines in their current form made it clear they would have no choice but to act on smacking complaints...

Unless there was a change to the guidelines once the law was passed, police would have no discretion. "If it is family violence and there is evidence of violence, the policy is quite clear, the offender must be arrested. "That means an admission or a witness saying they saw someone smack. Police will have no choice but to arrest a person acting on a complaint."
A commenter at the Humphs makes the telling point: "I think that the biggest impact the passing of this bill will have is not really going to be in the criminal courts but in the family court. Where there is a bitter divorce this will be a favoured weapon." And so it will.

Smacking, NZ Politics, Greens


  1. The point of the law is to remove the parental right to hit your kids as a defence.

    The issue is whether you think such a right exists, not whether people will stop abusing their kids.

  2. "The issue is whether you think such a right exists, not whether people will stop abusing their kids." Hamish.

    That is *not* the issue. Both Clark and Bradford are promoting this piece of socialist engineering to -and I quote - "stop (the) 'beating' and 'violence'".

    It will do neither. Lindsay Mitchell's point stands.

    And besides, you forget the material point that smacking is not compulsory, nor has it ever been.

    Open your eyes. And wait for the next assault from the same interfering busybodies on 'time out' for its psychological impact.

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

  4. Fourteen nations have now banned all corporal punishment of children. The sky has not fallen.

    Anyone who feels they have a right to strike a child should not have the privilege of raising one.

    In respect of 'Humphs' comment - this legislation is about what is best for our *children* who cannot defend themselves - not what is best for the biggest and strongest, and not what is best for rich white men's divorce suits.

    There is no reason to ever hit a child. It's very sad that there is still so much ignorance in this country.

  5. I know you prefer emotions to facts, Anonymous/Ruth -- or reading -- but let's look at just one of those fourteen nations, shall we. Sweden.

    "Latest figures from Sweden reveal that more and more children are being abused in Sweden.

    According to The Swedish Daily, there has been a 14% increase in child abuse cases in 2006 compared with 2005 figures.

    This backs up earlier research showing that child abuse increased 489% in the 13 years following a ban on smacking, and assaults by minors against minors increased 672%.

    In a 2000 Swedish Government report, it said “we see no tendency to a decrease in bullying at school or in leisure time during the last 20 years”
    [Source, Family First, Scoop]

    "The sky has not fallen," you say? I don't know what 489% sounds like to you, but it sounds pretty darn serious to me .

    Said Morgan Johansson, Sweden's Public Health Minister, "Every year, eight to ten, sometimes as many as twelve children die in Sweden due to violence. This has been true for several years."

    There is still so much ignorance, and so much of it used in support of this stupid and intrusive bill.

    "There is no reason to ever hit a child," you say. If you don't know the difference between smacking and beating, then may I suggest you give your children to someone who does.

  6. Yes, Anon. It is very sad that there is still so much ignorance in this country.

    Ignorance that allows people to believe they have the right to impose their views upon other adults.

    Ignorance that refuses to acknowledge the difference between adult and child.

    Ignorance that cannot recognise state control when it stares them in the eye.

    Especially when that state control has the audacity to disguise itself as a good intention.

  7. Sus - I'm not really fussed about what you have selectively quoted Clark and Bradford saying.

    "And besides, you forget the material point that smacking is not compulsory, nor has it ever been."

    That is a completely meaningless statement. So you think smacking is ok. Just say freaking say it.

    And thank you to PC for providing actual facts and figures above that support a viewpoint, rather than just saying whatever feels right. Although I don't necessarily agree that the aim of smacking legislation should be to prevent assaults between minors (as opposed to the, in my opinion, far more serious issue of assault by adults on minors) at least it adds something to the debate.

  8. Especially when that state control has the audacity to disguise itself as a good intention.

    Between the left-wing social engineers and the right-wing conspiratorialists you must have a lot of sleepless nights.


  9. Hamish, if you wish to ignore what the proponents of any bill - in this case, Clark & Bradford - "selectively" say about it, then your naivety is scary.

    Prior to the election the PM stated that she would not support a ban on smacking.

    Now she's not only doing so, but has commanded her entire party to do so, too. So much for a conscience vote. So much for a conscience.

    And if you think that's not significant, then you're either young, foolish, politically naive ... or a promoter of state control.

    Oh. And I'm not concerned if a parent chooses to smack or not smack their child's hand. It's not my business - and common sense understands the difference between that and violence.

  10. Here is a letter I have just sent to my local paper.
    The concerns raised by K Glywn McInnes regarding Sue Bradford’s anti smacking bill are tragically real (Waikato Times March 13)
    Yet again politicians are about to set up law that undermines parental responsibility and accrues more power to the State.
    The Maori party ‘intellectuals’ will ironically help instigate the very opposite consequences to their desired outcome!
    Child abusers will simply ignore this law.
    Like all criminals they will get even more tricky and sadistic, while good parents will fear discipline will endanger their rights to their own children!
    In a fool hardy attempt to reduce child abuse the Maori party will actually undermine good parents who attempt to keep their kids off the streets and out of Jail!
    This law is worse than useless!
    It’s evil in sheepskin!
    Such is the nature of ill conceived socialism!
    As someone who has on one hand suffered abuse and on the other been lovingly disciplined, I see that Socialist’s cannot make this clear distinction as an indictment to their woolly headedness and an insane delusion to the powers they wield!
    And Sue Bradford and Pita Sharples are icons of State education!???
    Who voted for them?
    This is all part of our socialist nightmare!

  11. (Off-thread, sorry PC):

    Tim W, did you get my email I sent you yesterday? Couldn't remember your address after all this time, so took a stab ...

    Just checking.

  12. Abuse is not just what makes the nightly news Peter.

    Smacking hurts children. It is abusive, both physically and emotionally. Even professional dog trainers know that PRAISE is the effective tool in training, not punishment. Parents who smack usually gradually increase the level of pain over a period of years to achieve the same response.

    I do not for one moment believe in the 'black helicopter' conspiracy theory about this. What is disgusting about taking steps to reduce the terrible amount of child smacking/hitting that occurs? Bradford strikes me as a good example of a human being; even if you don't like her politics she spends a lot of her time helping others.

    As someone who has an interest in early childood education - and I presume child welfare - I find your position on this astounding. No early childhood educator, on the internet at least, puts parents who smack on the 'good parents'list. In the words of one teacher "People who smack their kids are ignorant morons."

    Do not bring my children into it -I never mentioned them and they have never been hit. I now have teenagers staying with me each weekend who I hope to influence positively. What is YOUR contribution?

    You need to stop using the "statist - socialist-card" to spread your political motives and justify your own sins.

    May we all be free from the ignorance of violence.

  13. Ruth, can you please tell me where you found these comments:

    "No early childhood educator, on the internet at least, puts parents who smack on the 'good parents' list."


    "In the words of one teacher "People who smack their kids are ignorant morons.""

    I think it's reprehensible that you could draw comparisons between dogs and children as you have in your last post. I daresay that the emotional harm caused by that would be far worse than any smack a child could be given.


  14. No Sus I didn't.
    Re send it to
    I look forward to it!

  15. Ruth,
    Just to clarify where you’re coming from, beside your views on not smacking kids…
    May I inquire?
    Do you think “everyone is good on the inside?”
    Do you think it is ok to have kids without getting a marriage commitment first?
    Do you think It’s ok to live on the dole?
    Do you think primitive Maori culture is equal or better than Western civilization?
    Do you think it is ok for Maori to have special rights?
    Do you think it is ok for Maori to go back to their tribal lands to live even if there is no work there?
    Just yes or no answers will do.(or expound on them as you see fit)
    I am interested in seeing the sort of moral principles you have so as to make a better judgment of your thinking, and get a beter glimpse of the sort of person that thinks smacking is wrong.
    I suspect you will say “yes” to all or most of these questions.
    I will assume no response from you as an affirmative.
    These are important questions that anyone guiding teenagers needs to have solid answers too.
    regards Tim W


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