Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: If You Don't Hit Them, You Must Hate Them

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  • Nat Torkington,

    Short shameful confession: during the learned scholar's discussion of Leviticus and homosexuality I snickered when he said, "in the end."

    Signed,

    Beavis in Leigh

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Mark,

    It is good to see (so to balance the ledger) the sheer anti-intellectualism of the left after witnessing their collective and self-congratulating verbal gang-bang of Stephen's very well written post. It truly is scary to see some of the creepy pro-bill people being drawn out of the wood work. Now, I just have to go back to thrashing and beating my kids, what with me being anti-Bill and all and therefore a right wing fundie like the other 85% of NZ....

    Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sethop,

    Uh Mark, most of them were "congratulating" Slarty, whose reply was marginally more intellectual than Stephen's, and had the additional virtue of being funny, so I think your claim that this display in some way "balances" right wing anti-intellectualism is uh, not to put a fine point on it, nonsense.

    Presumably you come from the libertarian arm of the anti-Bill argument. How do you feel about siding with the bible bashers against UNICEF, Barnardos, Plunket, the Families Commission, etc, etc?

    If it is true that 85% of NZ think your way Mark (and I doubt it), then this a fairly classic case of where the public is (mis)led by the media who are (mis)led by the more vocal groups, and who in any case need to tell a story with limited time or column inches...whereas the politicians in their select committees have to hear the lengthy testimony and read long reports from the people and institutions who've actually put a bit of thought into it.

    It would seem that voting for this bill can only hurt a politicians electoral chances, hence if they do vote for it, one would argue that they're doing it because they strongly believe it's the right thing to do (the same would not be true were this America and it was a decision that large well connected corporations stood to profit from, but it's not)

    South Island • Since Jan 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    boy they sure are clinging to that 85% figure for dear life.
    irrespective of the numerous methodological difficulties with commercial phone polling, the poll i heard 85% agreed with was worded something like

    "Is it acceptable to smack a child when they are naughty?"

    Which was then mysteriously confabulated to

    "85% of NZers disagree with the bill"

    other similar figures are likely to be similar appalling examples of push polling, or at best the reflection of merely an horrendously misinformed public.

    regardless of bogus polls, having talked to a lot of people about this i haven't found one that opposed it, no matter how ardently opposed to it they thought they were (thinking the msm account of it was real), when they understood what the bill actually does and what the current law is in terms of s59 and the current already illegal status of smacking.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    and we do all understand by now that this bill has nothing to do with smacking, right?

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    Riddley W: Your account of the current legal situation and of any post-s59 situation is absurd.

    Smacking your own child to correct them etc. is legalized now by s 59 of the Crimes Act just the way getting an abortion before the 20th week is legalized now by s 187(a)(1) of the Crimes Act.

    Delete either one and something that was formerly legal becomes illegal. It's temporizing of the worst sort to deny this.

    You'd be outraged if someone tried to remove the abortion sections of the crimes act (i.e., while leaving the general harm to unborn children provisions on the books) under cover of the darkness of saying that they were merely removing a defense of some sort. And rightly so in my view. [That is you wouldn't and shouldn't require an official law specificallly banning abortion to get outraged that something very important was being destroyed.]

    And if, like me, you think that NZ's current abortion law is too paternalistic (two doctors? puh-lease) and also deceitful (it can't officially just be because you choose to terminate? it has to be because of, e.g., mental health? spare us!) and would act to liberalize it if you had the power, then the whole project is to regiment what's currently legal, and to legalize a bit more of what's going on anyway, and to make this aspect of what's curerntly legal more transparent and more clearly an expression of a woman's authority over her own life and reproductive destiny.

    The view you insist on, however, can't even begin to make sense of any of that attractive line of thought.

    The view you avow is also deeply Orwellian because just a few weeks ago Bradford and co. were proudly saying that their proposal banned smacking for correction etc. and that it didn't ban it for other purposes. The point was just that the police would never bother with looking for trivial/technical infractions (or might just hand out a warning if they did or some such thing). "Just going a few miles over the speed limit" analogies were commonplace....

    The select committee's report is full of phrases such as:

    "we have recommended amendments to the bill to clarify that parents may use reasonable force in some circumstances, but not for the purpose of correction".

    According to the new approach being taken, however, laws like the abortion laws and s 59, which are carved out as exceptions within some more encompassing law, never say anything about one may and may not do, rather you always in fact may not (the more encompassing law is always strictly in force) and the exceptions/reservations are then understood strictly as defences etc.

    On the absurd view you urge, then, abortion is currently illegal in NZ, we just don't press "killing an unborn child" charges much and there's a solid defence if anyone is charged.


    The anti-s59 crowd has been riddled from the beginning with question-begging, irritating genetic fallacies, abusive characetrizations of anyone who disagrees with them in unrepresentative/extremist terms, flat out lies about particular cases, about UN conventions, about the Animal Welfare Act, and so on... the works really.

    But the current craziness takes things to a new level. It appears for all the world to be designed purely to create the following cover-story:

    "We didn't pass a bill most people disagreed with, we didn't mean all that stuff about 'majoritarianism not being everything'. No, we passed a bill a majority really agreed with. They only disagreed with the thing we didn't pass, which was what the thing the swinish MSM said we were passing. We did the real will of the people. Huzzah!"

    Brilliant.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Riddley W: Your account of the current legal situation and of any post-s59 situation is absurd.

    Smacking your own child to correct them etc. is legalized now by s 59 of the Crimes Act just the way getting an abortion before the 20th week is legalized now by s 187(a)(1) of the Crimes Act.

    Delete either one and something that was formerly legal becomes illegal. It's temporizing of the worst sort to deny this.

    Um, so a woman who has an abortion (with the help of several publicly-funded doctors) can be prosecuted, but is able to cite that section as a defence when she gets to court? Really? Your analogy seems rather odd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18891 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Don C.: If you say
    "there are relig. nuts, and of course there are some parents who...."_
    then I claim you're saying there are just those two cases.

    Then I repeat, for someone who claims to read so much subtlety into debate, you argue in a remarkably obtuse manner.

    You also remind me of a certain ross/ron chap who pops up from time to time shifting the context of debate and confusing long windedness for sound reason.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Smacking your own child to correct them etc. is legalized now by s 59 of the Crimes Act just the way getting an abortion before the 20th week is legalized now by s 187(a)(1) of the Crimes Act.

    I'm not going to go anywhere near touching any comparisons with abortion. I can't see any meaningful connection.

    But to restate a point that I feel like I've made umpteen times over the past months. Smacking your child is already illegal in New Zealand, it's assault.

    Section 59 of the crimes act provides a defense whereby parents can get off for using 'reasonable force'.

    I can tell I'm right in this, because people can be, and ever so occasionally have been, convicted for smacking their children. If it was legal in New Zealand to do so, you could never be convicted for it.

    The distinction is important in a number of ways, but primarily because this bill doesn't ban smacking. Smacking is already banned. It just makes it harder to get away with it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6177 posts Report Reply

  • TroyHoward,

    I liken this to drink driving and seat belts.

    In the not to distant past drink driving was the norm. Not wearing a seat belt was a national pastime - Everyone did it and noone seemed to worried. But cars got wrecked, people died, and lives and families were wrecked.

    Then we kinda woke up and saw that this was pretty daft and now we treat those issues with the respect they deserve.

    Smacking these days seems to be the accepted norm.

    Parents/care givers get angry and a small child gets a smack, a llight 'tap', a sharp shock. Sometimes a kid gets hit too hard, sometimes a kid dies, a lot of times families are wrecked.

    What happens to the vast majority of kids who were smacked? How many times do you have hear "...it never did me any harm" till it starts sounding a little hollow?

    Maybe it's time that we woke up again and realised that hitting kids just isn't nescessary let alone acceptable. And maybe, just maybe our collective ambivilence to violence might change.

    After all, aren't our prisons full of people that were disciplined? That should know better? That have had 'firm' moral guidance in their upbringing?

    Left, Right, Liberal, Conservative, Hippy, Yuppy, Baby Boomer, Gen X, Ford, Holden, Asian, Maori, Pakeha, whatever your standpoint, are you going to change it if I smack you with reasonable force?

    So why should it work on kids?

    As for those that blather on about a "Nanny State" telling you what you can and can't do...wear a seat belt by chance? Drink and drive?

    Didn't think so.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    Russ B: Pay attention. That doesn't happen precisely because Crimes Act clauses legalize stuff they don't just create defences. But, yeah, technically that's how things can work if people wanted to be dicks about it. And, sure, if I drug my girlfriend causing her to miscarry then I can be charged with killing her unborn child/future human being, and then we just have to march down the exceptions among which are that if I was doing it to save her life etc. then I might get off. And so on.

    As I mentioned in a previous note, things are a bit more complicated in the Abortion cases because abort. does have a non-criminal law identity too (the Contracept. Act 1977 - we don't have a parallel "Parental Procedures Act".... )

    Still, that non-criminal law notwithstanding, people would be very nervous if the abort-enabling bits of the crimes act were zapped out by kerazy Christians. Sue Bradford would be up on the floor of the House weeping and wailing about how the proposal savagely infringes on women's sovereignty and that it takes away a woman's right to have an abortion/makes abotion illegal/takes us back to the dark ages. Others would rise and say how proud they are to have had abortions, and so on. And rightly so!

    Note that my point is completely general.

    Here's the Burrows-amendment-like clause from NSW's crimes act and here's an anti-smacking persopn there complaining about it. Money quote:
    <quote>"The legislation may actually have the reverse effect than it intended, it in effect reinforced parents' right to hit children," Ms Saunders said yesterday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    Whoops my post got cut off for some reason... restarting in the obvious place:

    Note that my point is completely general.

    Here's the Burrows-amendment-like clause from NSW's crimes act and here's an anti-smacking persopn there complaining about it. Money quote:
    <quote>"The legislation may actually have the reverse effect than it intended, it in effect reinforced parents' right to hit children," Ms Saunders said yesterday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    Cut off again!

    Note that my point is completely general.

    Here's the Burrows-amendment-like clause from NSW's crimes act and here's an anti-smacking persopn there complaining about it. Money quote:
    <quote>"The legislation may actually have the reverse effect than it intended, it in effect reinforced parents' right to hit children," Ms Saunders said yesterday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    <shakes head and looks at the ground>

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    One more try (I'm getting the text in preview moder just fine!):

    Note that my point is completely general.

    Here's the Burrows-amendment-like clause from NSW's crimes act and here's an anti-smacking persopn there complaining about it. Money quote:
    <quote>"The legislation may actually have the reverse effect than it intended, it in effect reinforced parents' right to hit children," Ms Saunders said yesterday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    Kyle: The narrow understanding of the criminal law you're opportunistically embracing in this one case doesn't make any sense. s 59 legalizes use of reasonable force for correction of one's own child. The mechanism of that is about charging people and people potentially getting off, but to focus exclusively on that is to miss the forest for the trees (just as it in the case of Abortion with s 183 etc.). In both cases there is a zone of authority and permission established.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    I can tell I'm right in this, because people can be, and ever so occasionally have been, convicted for smacking their children. If it was legal in New Zealand to do so, you could never be convicted for it.

    But that's just not so Kyle. What you've seen is cases in which there's a prima facie case that a parent used unreasonable force (a conclusion that would never be close to being drawn in cases of what I or most other people would class as smacking). It then went to trial and the parent contested the charges and tried to maintain that the force was in fact reasonable. The jury didn't agree.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i see you also presume a God given right to flog dead horses Stevo

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It's the ghost in the horse that must be punished.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    evil evil horse ghosts

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But that's just not so Kyle. What you've seen is cases in which there's a prima facie case that a parent used unreasonable force (a conclusion that would never be close to being drawn in cases of what I or most other people would class as smacking). It then went to trial and the parent contested the charges and tried to maintain that the force was in fact reasonable. The jury didn't agree.

    Umm, no.

    It's illegal to speed in New Zealand. If I speed, and either 1. don't get caught, or 2. don't get a ticket/conviction because I have a good excuse (ie, hospital emergency! pregnant woman! chased by homicidal axe murderer! I'm actually a police officer doing my duty!), then speeding is still illegal. I still broke the law, I just got away with it or had good reason for doing so.

    Hitting people is illegal. No where in the crimes act does it say that hitting kids is legal. It just says you have a defense for breaking the law.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6177 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Ok, I'm being lazy here, but I'm at work and so don't really have the time to look myself.
    I saw a bit of Campbell live last night and Christen Ranken was stating a 45% increase in child abuse cases in Sweden. (Think that was what she said).
    Has anyone check to see where this number come from?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Rankin's earrings (you know the big flashy dangley circle things) are symbolic of the content of her arguments and quotes.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Has anyone check to see where this number come from?

    Yes, some friends of Families First who popped over from Scandinavia recently making all sorts of claims. Most of which have been discredited by people back in Scandinavia.

    That Rankin is willing to tout this rubbish is interesting, to say the least.

    Garth George does a good job of putting together various FF press releases and passing it off as his own work. You can Google the various folk he quotes. This includes the Nordic Committee for Human Rights. Just see how much credibility Rankin has wrapped herself.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    After watching that TV3 "debate" last night, I've worked out why the government didn't push the bill through before Easter after all. Their cunning plan is to give Christine Rankin more air time.

    "childless Prime Minister ... spitting Sue Bradford" ... boy, does she have issues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 771 posts Report Reply

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