OK 3410, and anyone else who remains 'unconvinced' - is it OK o smack an elderly senile person who is being difficult?
About a year ago, I spent the last week of her life caring for my 90 year old grandmother, whose senility was almost complete. She caused all sorts of problems 24 hours a day, including violence. I never thought once about smacking her. That would've been just plain disrespectful.
I remain unconvinced. If someone punches their kid in the head then that's clearly outside of "reasonable force", so they have no reasonable force defence, agreed?
Those who support this legislation seem to be saying that no amount of force is reasonable.
Let's remember that the government needs a damn good reason to legislate over what happens in the home. My parents used to hit me with the wooden spoon for being really naughty, and the same or similar applies to almost everyone of GenX, none of whom seem to consider it assault. Given that, I can't (yet) see how a "light smack" is a matter that requires government intervention.
The problem, surely, is with people who brutalise their children. We all want to see those people prosecuted, but such people should never be able to rely on the reasonable force defence anyway, so this proposed change does nothing for those children (Everyone's got a story of someone battering their kids and then successfully claiming reasonable force, but isn't that a problem with judicial direction to juries, rather than with the law itself?)
If so many PA readers believe children have an absolute right to freedom from all violence, how come I see none of you on the streets protesting against the US invasion of Iraq, where innocent children and babies are still getting shot in the head every day?
Surely, the reasonable force defence entails that unreasonable force is indefensible. So, other than clarifying what constitues unreasonable force, how is the bill different from existing law? (3410)
The amendment to the wording before its first reading was the part about reasonable force being permitted to ensure the safety of the child or others. The defence is still removed in other circumstances, such as moral instruction. (RB)
My point is that if a judge can currently rule in a case that force used was not reasonable, then why the need for new legislation?
Surely, the reasonable force defence entails that unreasonable force is indefensible. So, other than clarifying what constitues unreasonable force, how is the bill different from existing law?
As for what parents feed their kids, ask yourself where parents get their nutrition information, compared to one or two generations ago. I'd suggest that the answer is: almost entirely from TV advertising by large corporates, who don't give a sh*t about nutrition.
Case in point: tonight's Campbell Live article on "fresh" fish in Auckland. In case you missed it, Snapper fillets from Foodtown, Dominion Road contain about thirty-three million bacteria per gram (when the recommended upper level is one million per gram) and were rated, by independent testers, a "4" on a scale from 1=fresh to 5=putrid (and that's worth $32 / kg?). In total five Auckland fish retailers were tested and 4 (I think) failed.
Here's another: Remember Coco Pops' "One bowl of Coco Pops with milk contains 10% of your daily calcium requirements". I'm sure a lot of people think that means that Coco Pops is a healthful food.
I hate to sound under-graduate about it, but the source reason for a great deal of these societal problems is unconstrained corporatocracy. These organisations are not on the side of New Zealanders; They are exploiters, and their marketing trickery is more responsible for NZ's nutrition problems than anyone else, including parents-as-a-group.
[long-time listener; first time commenter]
The Song Remains The Same.
Let's not forget that Key's speech is more about politics than policy. It's the same old appeal to "common sense" that we saw in '05's "Who wouldn't want more of *your* money returned to *you*?" In fact, is it not just a retread of Orewa '03 (or was it '04?)? If dole-bludging is their flagship issue of the moment, it demonstrates that nothing's changed under Key. He may be a charming leader, rather than a creepy one, but the same cynical approach remains; driftnet all the suckers with meaningless nationalism (nationalisticism?) against an obvious minority target.
This just in: Key supports apple pie and motherhood - if you do too, vote National.