Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wales: Smacking Ban Must be Slapped Down

This article just in from (hat tip, Family Integrity)

I'm told there are moves in Parliament to bring in a Bill to outlaw smacking. If they succeed, I will again oppose it, which seems odd when I abhor smacking and long for a world in which every child is free from fear.

The reason for my objection is "mission-creep", that insidious disease which overtakes too many pieces of legislation that at first seem sensible. In other words, give an idiot a law a sane man or woman would use sensibly and the idiot will abuse it.

Mission-creep has overtaken terrorism laws so that they are now used against ordinary citizens. Latest figures reveal that councils across Wales and England launched more than 10,000 spying missions last year to investigate possible petty offences.

Rules to curb paedophile activity have led to inexcusable situations like a mother from Aberfan being banned from riding in a taxi with her disabled child until she has a criminal record check.

If a smacking ban succeeds, forget assurances that it will be used with common sense. Before long some good mum or dad will be hauled into court because, in a moment of panic, they tapped little Johnny's legs for running into the road. The case will probably be thrown out when the court sees the whole picture, but not before that family has been traumatised.

We already have laws to prevent the abuse of children – laws which are not used often enough in my opinion – but my fear of mission-creep if there is a total ban on smacking is very real.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Parents Assaulted with Bogus Smacking Prosecutions

Family First on Bradford Comments

Vigilance needed still on child abuse (should read Vigilance needed to keep smacking banned!)
Otago Daily Times 26 July 08
The repealing of section 59 of the Crimes Act was not "100% safe" (TRUE) and it was important to stay vigilant, Green Party MP Sue Bradford told those attending the Children's Issues Centre national seminar in Dunedin yesterday. "There is still an ongoing political battle and it is not completely won.(TRUE) " Ms Bradford is one of six speakers at the seminar, which is focused on moving on from the repealing of section 59.
Polls showed the law change was a major election issue for about 5% of voters (TRUE), Ms Bradford said. The "most powerful forces" working against the law change were those involved in the petition for a referendum on the issue (FALSE - IT'S THE HUGE PROPORTION OF NZ'ERS). There was no question the petition had been "amazingly successful" (TRUE) given that it was very difficult to meet the required 10% target, she said. "They have poured a huge amount of time and money into it. (TIME YES MONEY NO) " More signatures were collected for the petition after the first petition fell short (FALSE) when more than 5000 signatures were declared invalid (FALSE). A report on the validity of those further signatures was expected at the end of August.
"I feel sure some of the people who signed it then have changed their mind since (FALSE), but that doesn't negate the legality of those signatures." Any potential threat to the law change would depend on the make-up of the next government (TRUE). Her biggest concern would be any attempt to change the law to define an acceptable level and nature of violence, as that would send the message violence against children was acceptable (FALSE), she said. The role of academics and researchers in any future debate would be "incredibly important".
There was no evidence people were being "dragged off to court" for minor offences (FALSE) and she welcomed research presented at the seminar which showed 44% of voters were in favour of the new legislation (FALSE), she said. "While Family First are creating the perception 80% are against it, I feel this is much more in line and that the proportion is about 50-50. (FALSE)"
Family First Comment: Note that there is no reference to the continuing rate of child abuse deaths, the skyrocketing rates of CYF notifications, and the continued horror stories of real child abuse happening where there is drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, dysfunction etc.

“The epidemic of child abuse and child violence in this country continues – sadly. My bill was never intended to solve that problem.”
Sue Bradford – National Radio - 21 Dec 07

Read Family First Media Releases
Discredited Anti-Smacking Advocate Back in NZ
Anti-Smacking Conference At Venue Where Research Contradicts