Wednesday, 28 March 2007

First pics from the Wellington anti-anti-smacking rally

First pictures just in from the Wellington anti-anti-smacking rally, courtesy of Dominion (above) and Robin Thomsen (below):

Listen up!

Entry into Parliament grounds.

March organiser Mitch Lees.

Four Libz at the rally point, setting the tone. Spot the pun.

UPDATE 1: Newswire has a report, as does Newstalk ZB:

Around 500 placard-waving protestors vented their spleen outside Parliament after a march from Civic Square. They say the proposed law robs parents of their rights to discipline their children. One placard sent a clear message to the MP's "represent your voters or lose them", which is reflective of opinion polls which have consistently pointed to around 80 percent of voters being opposed to the law change.

Libertarian Lindsay Perigo raised spectres of a police state, saying police will become the Gestapo and New Zealand will become a nation of snitches if the bill goes through.

Following Helen Clark's shot at what she described as "fundamentalists" yesterday, the debate has become increasingly personal. Former WINZ boss and current child campaigner Christine Rankin took a swipe at Helen Clark for ignoring public opinion, saying "the childless Prime Minister thinks she knows better than the public".

Ms Rankin also lambasted the bill's sponsor Sue Bradford, saying comments the Green MP made last October that men opposed to the bill are sexual perverts who get a kick out of hitting children "says it all".

In Christchurch an estimated 2,000 protestors braved a wet, wintry lunchtime in Christchurch today to march from Victoria Square to the Cathedral Square.

Lindsay Mitchell has more of Perigo's attention-grabbing speech.

UPDATE 2: Scoop has more pictures, and a frankly sneering,report by Kevin List, topped off with an inaccurate headline: Libz, Bible scholars and Nats fight S59 repeal - Scoop

Why inaccurate? Because as David Farrar explains, Bradford's Bill doesn't repeal the section, it simply fills it with mush. See Lies, damn lies and more lies - Kiwiblog.

: Robin Thomsen provides this report:
Today's Anti-anti-smacking March in Wellington was a great success, around 500+ protesters turned up carrying placards, including many children [wouldn't you expect these kids to be counter-protesting? :-)]. There was a crew of Libertarianz there, as well as members and supporters of Act, Family First, Destiny Church etc, all united (this time) against Nanny State.

There was a small and weird looking group of noisy Anti-anti-anti-smackers, but this gathering possessed little imagination and the limit of their counter-protest was blowing a whistle loudly and trying to chant, unsuccessfully, over the main protest.

Once the march had arrived at Parliament, Lindsay Perigo gave a rousing speech, followed by ACT's Heather Roy, United Future's Larry Baldock, National's Chester Borrows, Christine Rankin and Family First's Bob McCoskrie. None of the Anti-smacking Bill's supporters spoke or dared to get close, possibly fearing a public spanking.

We understand several other marches around the country had also been highly successful, with several thousand marchers protesting in Christchurch. [Newstalk ZB reports 2,000 (see above)]

Good on Mitch Lees for kicking off this successful protest.
RELATED: Smacking, NZ Politics, Libz


  1. Well done, all. Satisfying to see this motley govt of aging demonstrators and activists getting a taste of their own medicine.

    "Public opinion is like the castle ghost; no one has ever seen it, but everybody is scared of it". Sigmund Graff.

    Tyrants, especially. Any chance of getting Lindsay's speech in its entirety?

  2. I have attended this rally and must say that for me as a libertarian it was quite dissapointing and does not fill me with much optimizm.

  3. Placard: If you love your kids discipline them.

    I didn't know that smacking was the only form of discipline? I thought I was able to discipline my kids without smacking them. Thanks to that march I now know better.

  4. "I didn't know that smacking was the only form of discipline? I thought I was able to discipline my kids without smacking them."

    Yes, you are. That's the difference between voluntary and compulsory...

  5. "I have attended this rally and must say that for me as a libertarian it was quite disappointing..."

    Why do you say that, Alex?

  6. Robert Winefield29 Mar 2007, 03:27:00


    Much the same can be said of the NaZis on Air campaign to abolish the broadcasting 'fee.'

    But abolish it it did. True the fee was adsorbed into general taxation, but the exercise showed two things:

    (1) That the public can successfully agitate for change outside of the election.

    (2) It enlightened a small number of people to the way government operates.

    This demonstration did have its weirdos. Can't help that. But because Libz were there saying it, there are some who will get the real message about this.

    If you want to change attitudes to smacking (or drugs or alcohol etc.) then prohibition isn't the answer. It leads to far greater unintended problems.

    And nor is labeling parents who correct their children's behavior as sadists as Sue Bradford and Libertyscott have done doesn't cut it either. My parents are not sadists nor are they criminals. The proposition is absurd.

    Now maybe there is a better way. But if you want to convince me of that then put away the gun and the idiotic hubris and ~prove~ to me that there is a more ethical way.

    But you are going to have your work cut out for you. Because from my own childhood I empirically know that smacking is an effective form of corrective behaviour and I know that it is harmless.

    And that's the thing isn't it. The anti-smacking Brigade have an easy and effective weapon in their arsenal. The government's gun. No need for rational debate, no need to counter my empirical evidence. It's simple & easy, just make it illegal.

    And that's what this smacking debate is about for me. If Paul Holmes, Judy Bailey and Deborah Coddington had such an effective point then they wouldn't bother resorting to the government's monopoly on the use of force would they?

    That is unless they truly believe that all smackers are latent sadists. And if that's the case, then be afraid, be very afraid because those people are sitting on the Treasury Benches and there is no Constitution to limit their power.

    It can only get worse from here.

  7. Mitch Lees is kind of hot.

    Can I add that at this juncture?

  8. "And nor is labeling parents who correct their children's behavior as sadists as Sue Bradford and Libertyscott have done doesn't cut it either"

    Oh fuck off Robert, I never said that, get some fucking eyewash and read it clearly. I said that "smacking represents at best a failure to parent intelligently and creatively, at worst it is sadism".

    I stand by that, AT WORST, they are sadists. I know of people whose parents smacked them legally almost habitually, it was ritualistic, and I've also encountered religious nutters who think it is a parents obligation to smack.

    I oppose Bradford's bill, so have a drink, let your blood pressure drop and have a think and a read again FFS.


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