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...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.
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."
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