Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Every single letter to the Editor in this morning's Press (9 April 07), concerning Bradford's bill; was opposed to her bill.  Here are some of them:

Peter Collier (Perspective, April 19), and Ron Hay (May 2) wish to avoid being labelled as fundamentalists, as they want the term kept for those who are simplistic and over-literal, especially in the area of our origin. But at what point does an evangelical start to believe the Bible means what it says?

Liz O'Callaghan


The Bradford bill passed another stage because Key and Clark whipped their MPs into the party line on an issue that should have been a concience vote

Neil Harrap


No matter what your point of view on the smacking debate, to announce something as new when the police have always had discretion is the stuff of stupidity.

A. Mitchel


Some New Zealanders are now planning to leave the country to protect their children. The risks posed by the Bradford bill are just too great for them.

I despair for New Zealand, either John Key is thick, uninformed or philosophically in agreement with Bradford and Clark that the correction of children by parents should be illegal. The last seems to be the case because that is what he has endorsed, and is crowing about. Key said that on both sides of the debate there had been extreme positions taken. Why doesn't he name those he claims have taken extreme positions and explain why they are extreme? The whole National party fell into line, and United Future. Not a whimper of protest heard from any of their members. Were they whipped as Labour was? We need at this time a Winston Churchill, but clearly it won't be John Key who takes up the role.

Renton Maclachlan


Say what you like about John Key and Bill English, there is no doubt they are great communicators. When they realised that the 80% of New Zealanders who were opposed to altering Section 59 believed that the National party were of the same mind as themselves, they took immediate action to dispel this error. By aligning themselves with Commissar Helen's Marxist myrmidons, they ably illustrated that the most important thing in politics is retention of buttock space on the parliamentary benches.

A. M. Pemberton


The battle for the Bradford bill became a sickening political farce last Wednesday. First, readers of The Press were confroted with the news that Anglican bishops backed Bradford. Mid-morning came the news that John Key, leader of the National Party, had reached an accord with the Bradford-Clark bloc, and "reasonable force" would be deleted from Section 59 of the Crimes act. Not only would "reasonable force" be deleted, but the "rule of law" would be replaced by the arbitrary rule of the police. Then there was the astonishing "vigil" at Wellington's Anglican Cathedral prior to the parliamentary session at 2pm. What a mockery it made for the cathedral for the "vigil" to be attended by Bradford and Clark and various "heroic" Christians. In Parliament that afternoon, the best speech was delivered by Heather Roy. It was a traversty of justice that she was cut off mid-sentence, as she noted Section 194 and Section 195 of the Crimes Act ealt with cruelty to children. But ACT hit the nail on the head when Roy quoted the opinion of former ACT MP Stephen Franks that Key had been outwitted by Bradford and Clark.

The Question for me remains: with some 80% of New Zealanders opposed to the Bradford bill, why did John Key follow the parliamentary pied pipers – Sue Bradford and Helen Clark?

Sue Hunt


Clark and Bradford must be congratulating themselves on achieveing their aim to remove any legal defense in law from parents who smack, while making it appear they ceded a generous compromise tot he large democratic majority against it.

But now, any aggrieved ex-partener, estranged family member, interfering neighbour or crusading social worker only have to get a police officer to charge a smacking parent, no matter how light the smack was, and a jury will be forced in law to find that parent guilty as charged. If no charge is proceeded with, the investigatino process alone will have traumatised a good familiy, and the child will realise that they have their parents in their power. Thanks, Parliament!

A. F. Jenks

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