Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Summary of Timaru Riding Crop cases

this from familyintegrity.blogspot.com
17 April 2007

Things around the Section 59 debate are getting very heated, very confused, somewhat scary and way off topic.

The pro-repeal side have taken the lady from Timaru wielding the horse crop as their "poster girl" to advertise why parents should be legally forbidden to use a Section 59 defense, or any defense, to correct their children using reasonable force, regardless of how light it might be: because, they claim, it too easily leads to horrendous acts of violence and abuse against children that are subsequently "let off" by the courts when the parents and their clever lawyers bring up Section 59 and plead something along the lines that parents have a right to discipline their own children.

This kind of explanation is clearly a mix of truth and error.

First, the pro-repeal lobby (Bradford and her mates) only ever look at the actions of the parents toward the child: in this case, the mum gave the boy six of the best with an 18 inch bamboo pot-plant stake and later two or three strokes with the riding crop. They do not look at the wider context of family history, events leading to the corrective action, the results, etc. (The jury did…that's why she was acquitted so quickly.) We all would be horrified to hear of a parent striking a child in this way FOR NO REASON. So Bradford and Kiro and Clark and Edridge et al all play on this and always completely ignore the context of the disciplinary actions. One must suppose that to them, whatever the child has done can in no way justify a disciplinary smack, not ever, not for any reason, no matter how light the smack, no matter how horrible and damaging the child's actions, no matter how reasonable the force used. This is precisely the tact taken by the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child in a comment on this issue they published in June last year (see http://tinyurl.com/fvrwo). This is a modern philosophy that has very little support or currency among parents anywhere in the world. That is certainly what Labour and the Greens are finding out here: 85% of Kiwis do not agree with a ban on smacking children for corrective purposes as part of the parenting tool kit.

Second, if the Swedish experiment is any indication as to why this philosophy is pushed so vehemently by virtually ALL government departments and virtually ALL so-called child and family welfare groups (virtually ALL of whom are also heavily funded by the state), it is because this philosophy CAUSES family dysfunction. As family dysfunction increases, so does social dysfunction. A chorus goes up, "Why doesn't somebody DO something?" Up step the state agencies and those groups funded by the state: social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, lawyers plus all their secretaries and office staff have vested interests in seeing the dysfunction continue and increase, for it means more money for them. Such bureaucracies ALWAYS tend to grow, for their focus very quickly becomes one of self-preservation rather than working themselves out of a job by finding permanent solutions to the social problems they were supposedly set up to solve.

Third, Bradford and her mates are strongly implying that they think the juries in such trials, 12 of their peers, are thick as bricks or somehow otherwise intellectually deficient and unable to tell the difference between "reasonable force to correct" and "abuse". Or they are simply saying they don't like the decision made by the juries. These things are implied, but what Bradford and co are really trying to do is impose their own philosophy on everyone else by saying that juries should not have to decide such things, that the law should always clearly rule any use of force, regardless of how light or reasonable, outside the law if that force is used for the purpose of correction. What Bradford has never told us is why she so hates the perfectly natural idea, one practised for thousands of years, of parents correcting their children.

Fourth, the one group solidly against this bill is parents. Contrary to what Bradford and Kiro claim, parents are not clamouring for the "right" to beat their children…how ridiculous can you get, Bradford. Parents are proclaiming that they have natural duties and responsibilities toward their children and resent the state - especially a radically feminist and childless Prime Minister and an even more radically feminist Sue Bradford of the highly dysfunctional lifestyle track record - parents resent the state and thoroughly unqualified people like Clark and Bradford interposing themselves between parents and their children claiming they have to protect the child's rights from being denied and trampled on by the parents.

This denigration and bullying of parents by the state has to stop. Only parents will ever love and be as committed to their children as they routinely are…certainly Clark and Bradford and state social workers have little to offer children in the areas of love and commitment. Parents also have most to lose by this legislation: their own children, their own family harmony and peace, their own authority within their own families and over their own children to correct, train and discipline using any degree of reasonable force. This Bill is clear evidence of the state claiming for itself the posterity of us all, our children, and wanting the best shot at determining the future by indoctrinating our children in its schools and allowing only its agents (police and social workers), not the parents, to force them to behave in certain ways approved by the state.

Read the rest of the article here

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