Smacking – They Just Don’t Get It (Post 9235)

Sue Bradford is caught out in yet another lie.

Last year (just before the law came into force), we asked ALL respondents (grandparents, parents, people not married, even people without kids!) whether they would ignore the law if they felt it appropriate. Not “had they” but “would they”. 78% said they would. This year we asked only parents with under 12’s whether they actually had flouted the law – a much smaller sample but far more relevant – 48% (51% of mums) admitted flouting the law . Sue Bradford tried to interpret this as a drop from 78% to 48%. But as anyone can see, they are completely different groups in a different setting.
Significanly though, 51% who admit smacking is the same figure as a government funded poll in 2005. In other words, nothing has changed! Parents are carrying on doing what they know is best – even with the law change.
The Greens have tried to ‘twist’ the data and the media have failed to pick up on it. The figure they should be taking notice of is the whopping 85% who want the law changed . Let’s hope that Ms Bradford isn’t responsible for global warming statistics as well!!!!!

Strange how nothing has changed since 2005, yet sometime in 2007 a bunch of crazy nut jobs convinced New Zealand to change their views…

Then we have the NZ Herald today, who should know better.

It indicates nothing of the kind. It shows that, contrary to the alarmism of Family First, the removal of the parental defence to assault has not deterred reasonable practice. Nearly half the 1018 parents surveyed still resort to a smack on occasions. Had the police enforced the new law with the rigour that Family First feared, parents would not be as relaxed about it as they plainly are.

The survey said nothing about how relaxed parents were. It asked them if they still smack, and they do. This puts them at risk of prosecution, the fact that few have been dragged before the courts is irrelevant – the point is that they can be, with no legal defense.

Why, then, is Mr McCoskrie’s group unable to let this unpleasant subject rest? Why is a petition circulating to put the issue to a referendum that could be held with the general election this year? The public must be heartily sick of this non-issue. Smacking children is simply not worth further debate. There are, as every sensible parent knows, better ways to correct bad behaviour, but if parents sometimes use more primitive means the law can be reasonable.

“Heartily sick”? “Non-Issue”? Really?

Oh, they “must be”. Big clue there as to how out of touch the Herald knows itself to be!

Here we’ve just said that half of all parents are disobeying the law and that’s a non-issue?!? Let alone the consistent statistic which puts support for this law at about as low as a law change can get, in spite of it’s proported goal of protecting children. Never mind that almost half (47%) are strong opponents of the law.

The New Zealand Herald’s unnamed staff member should get out with the signature collectors. I can testify from personal experience that getting people, parents especially to sign this petition take all the effort of forcing a thirsty man to drink.

The removal of the defence of reasonable force was always likely to make so little difference to parental behaviour that it was not worth the anguish of changing the law in the first place. …

So I guess the real reason for the law change was to remove the defense in court? Yes?

In other words, the police can now arrest any one of 51% of parents and take them to court where they’ll be railroaded. Clearly, parents would be sick of that sort of non-issue being bought up all the time.

Now, having changed the law, there is no more reason to meddle with it than there was the first time. The law has sent the message that violence is not the ideal way to correct children but that police have a discretion they can exercise with common sense.

No, the law has done no such thing. By removing the defense of reasonable force, parliament has said that reasonable force is not the ideal way to correct children.

Family First’s determination to exaggerate the law might be doing some good. Some parents cannot be told too often that heavy-handed discipline is illegal now. But spare us a referendum, it would be flogging a dead horse.

Again, good parents know full well that reasonable discipline (that uses physical force) is now illegal, not just heavy-handed, which was arguably already illegal depending on the circumstances.

Out of touch with parents, out of touch with the law, out of touch with the public. What more could you want in a newspaper?

Finally, a quote from Larry Baldock’s email.

Finally I have to say how disappointing it was to see that the author was unwilling to put their name to their opinion piece. More than 350,000 Kiwis have been concerned enough about the Bradford anti-smacking law that they have placed their name to the petition in broad daylight. Some of them, like police, social workers and Plunket employees have done so while expressing a concern that there have been veiled suggestions that they should not be doing so.
We undermine our freedom when we lack the courage to put our name to our convictions,” said Mr Baldock.

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