OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: "Smokescreen," I scream

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  • Russell Brown,

    Family First has a list of about 30 cases that they claim show the law isn't working well. Some may fall within your parameters.

    I note that on the figures they provide there has been one prosecution for "smacking", which I assume to be the Masterton case I've noted before. None for the much-discussed "light smacking" though. There is zero chance of a law change to permit the other behaviours described.

    I do suspect that given this organisation's track record of enabling and misrepresentation, many or even all the cases they list will turn out to be other than they've described them. Call the "ear flick" rule ...

    But one constant theme in this material appears to be that children are to blame for what happens to them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Jono,

    Are you talking about Ralph Nader's sister Craig? Why is she so popular all of a sudden? Mind you, I do hear good things about her Controlling Processes course!

    Whangarei • Since Oct 2008 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I note that on the figures they provide there has been one prosecution for "smacking", which I assume to be the Masterton case I've noted before. None for the much-discussed "light smacking" though. There is zero chance of a law change to permit the other behaviours described.

    They do argue that "... police are unable to define the difference between "smacking" and "minor acts of physical discipline"", so that takes it up to their nine.

    They also note specific cases which have resulted in charges, or children being taken from parents.

    ... one constant theme in this material appears to be that children are to blame for what happens to them.

    Is that too surprising? Even if you disagree with smacking - as we both do - surely we can recognise that those who do smack will often/usually/almost always do it because they think their children have been misbehaving?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    They've been compiling 'victim parents' for adverts during the referendum. No doubt we'll find out all sorts of interesting things about them as well.

    Only if someone does the dastardly deed of splashing their name (as opposed to a selectively edited version of their deeds) over the newspapers and internet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Is that too surprising? Even if you disagree with smacking - as we both do - surely we can recognise that those who do smack will often/usually/almost always do it because they think their children have been misbehaving?

    I file this in the same box as "bloody girlfriend! Should have known not to [do any one of many things] when I've been drinking/had a hard day at work/etc. Then she wouldn't have got hit."

    While it's not surprising, it's the fact that it's still considered acceptable by a lot of people in society to say that about kids, whereas not many people would still think about saying it about an adult. That's the contradiction that needs more highlighting.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Only if someone does the dastardly deed of splashing their name (as opposed to a selectively edited version of their deeds) over the newspapers and internet.

    What a stupid media release from family first. Most people who go to court end up named in the court news of several daily papers. If you didn't throw yourself at the media before you went to court, they might not put it in such a prominent place after left the building.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    While it's not surprising, it's the fact that it's still considered acceptable by a lot of people in society to say that about kids, whereas not many people would still think about saying it about an adult. That's the contradiction that needs more highlighting.

    Quite.

    I might add that it's a contradiction that Family First has turned into a fetish. They seem to struggle to find a parental action that can't reflexively be blamed on the child involved. And these are people who drone on out the other side of their mouths about "parental responsibility".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I file this in the same box as "bloody girlfriend! Should have known not to [do any one of many things] when I've been drinking/had a hard day at work/etc. Then she wouldn't have got hit."

    I'm with you there, but men are (no longer) charged by society to discipline their female partners. There are obviously people who feel that the limited use of force should be allowed in raising one's children, and I'd debate them, except their point is precisely that smacking was banned by stealth, to address an issue of quite different magnitude. I think Graeme has been arguing that they have a point there, and I tend to agree.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    While it's not surprising, it's the fact that it's still considered acceptable by a lot of people in society to say that about kids, whereas not many people would still think about saying it about an adult. That's the contradiction that needs more highlighting.

    Quite possibly, but it's a line of logic I'm sure they (and many/most/almost all) parents would use when talking about non-physical punishments as well. If children are placed in time-out, or told they can't watch TV as a consequence of some action surely we can recognise that those who do [punish their children in such a way] will often/usually/almost always do it because they think their children have been misbehaving?

    I file this in the same box as "bloody girlfriend! Should have known not to [do any one of many things] when I've been drinking/had a hard day at work/etc. Then she wouldn't have got hit."

    But it would be okay if this guy's girlfriend had been sent to her room or told she couldn't watch TV?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is that too surprising? Even if you disagree with smacking - as we both do - surely we can recognise that those who do smack will often/usually/almost always do it because they think their children have been misbehaving?

    Sure, and I wouldn't be unsympathetic to the next female ACT staffer who smacked David Garrett in the mouth following an "off-colour comment". Our laws around common assault being what they are, I suspect a court -- and the woman's employer -- would be significantly less sanguine. One well known legal principle is Ignorantia juris non excusat; I don't know if "Good intentions" are much of an excuse either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "this guy's girlfriend" is, I assume, not a minor?

    And yep, kids *misbehave* - but - blaming kids for being kids and then warranting physical punishment for such behaviour?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And yep, kids *misbehave* - but - blaming kids for being kids and then warranting physical punishment for such behaviour?

    And aren't they the same people who whinge about society cotton-wooling today's kids? They can't have it both ways.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, but we're back to saying that smacking should be banned, which is kind of what they've been arguing our secret agenda was from the beginning. Which proves them right, in the oddest way.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Agreed Giovanni - so I'll be voting YES in the referendum-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yes, but we're back to saying that smacking should be banned, which is kind of what they've been arguing our secret agenda was from the beginning. Which proves them right, in the oddest way.

    I'm still stuck on how its a bad thing eliminating a legal defence for punching your children in the face, or attacking them with a riding crop.
    I found it hard hearing Heather Roy in the general debate through my howls of anguish, but I think that's what she's keen on.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    As will I, although not dignifying it with an answer is also tempting.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That was meant in response to Islander's I'll vote YES.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I thought about that...

    And, the threads seem to be melding eerily-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Does stapling a note of displeasure to your referendum ballot invalidate it? I don't know if there's anything in the Electoral Act that says so.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I'd do that DeepRed if it doesnt negate the YES...further to yoyur point upthread re mollcoddling children/wrapping them in cottonwool - exactly! FamilyFist is all about *control* -and I'd suggest patriarchal control- not about ways to bring up inquisitive & lively human beings to be creative & happy adults.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Do you think that locking children in cupboards, as part of good parenting, should be criminalized? Yes or No.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    YES. One child I know would think it all a great giggle, whoop & try & kick the cupboard door down. Another would become hysterical. Let's go for protecting the latter (who, I suspect, would encompass the majority.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O - post 2 previous - the y's are starting to migrate randomly too!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    And yep, kids *misbehave* - but - blaming kids for being kids and then warranting physical punishment for such behaviour?

    I raised the matter in response to Russel's incredulity that someone was *blaming* children for being smacked. I think the blame is about as much as would be apportioned by the person in question (and many others) to children who were grounded or lost TV privileges. Many people view smacking as just another consequence on the continuum of responses to mis-behaving children.

    There are many arguments against smacking, and many arguments in response to those who support it, I don't think that their is blame apportioned to children in cases of smacking is a particularly good one in either respect. I suspect Bob McCoskrie and others would be opposed to any smacking where they didn't think the child was blameworthy - and probably opposed to grounding and other punishments as well. I think that most parents would think that if a child hasn't done anything wrong, why would any form of discipline or punishment - physical or not - be appropriate?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Exactomundo.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

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