Friday, April 13, 2007

Jordan says smacking will be permitted

On this post, Jordan says:

"The debate that is emerging on section 59 is very healthy - even if people are talking past each other.  Until the past 2 weeks there hasn't been a debate.  There have been people shouting slogans at each other and misrepresenting each others positions. 

But some are still missing the point - labelling the Bradford amendment to section 59 as a "smacking ban law".  I agree with a substantial part of David Farrar's post on the issue.  The problem of course is that that is exactly what both Borrow's amendment and Sue Bradford's amendments seek to do.

But the answer that parents are looking for, is why can't Parliament just pass a law which clearly does not criminalise light smacking, but clamps down on actual harm to children. They ask isn't that why we have a Parliament - to make such distinctions. They are not worried about being prosecuted, they just do not approve of having the law now "disapprove" of how they raise their children. They wonder why MPs don't vote for the Borrows amendment, or if that wording isn't quite adequate, why they don't improve it, rather than vote it down.

The exact same could be said of the Bradford amended Bill.  The Bradford Bill does make it clear that in the course of everyday parenting smacking is permitted.  And if that wording isn't quite adequate, why don't they improve it, rather than vote it down?

As I said in my very first post on this issue, the debate isn't at the extremes.  For months we had those in favour of appealing section 59 labeled "anti-smackers" among other things.  Their position was positioned as an extreme one.  Over the past few weeks we've seen the opposition, the pro-smackers (or whatever you want to call them) being positioned at the other extreme to try to balance the picture up again.  All is fair in love and war, and if one person's position is going to be unfairly labelled as something it isn't, then surely it is fair to do the same to the other side?..."


And IP responds quite brilliantly: "I don't deny you have a right to an opinion. What I do reject is your contention is that the Bill doesn't ban physical correction. It b***** well does, and you know it. Go to law school and get a b***** law degree if you want to learn anything about statutory interpretation.  Bradford's Bill expressly prohibits the use of physical force for the purposes of correction. That clause overrides any other part of the Bill.  I have said a number of times that I don't agree that smacking for corrective purposes is effective, yet you have labelled me, along with all the other opponents of the Bill, pro-violence.  The reason I reject the Bill is that it is fundamentally dishonest. It does ban smacking for corrective purposes, when the proponents claim it does not; and it will have no positive effect, whatsoever, on child abuse rates, which the proponents claim will change.  It is your abject dishonesty that pisses people off, Jordon.

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