Friday, February 23, 2007

Media whips New Zealanders into hysteria.......again.

So, the anti-smacking bill. Its going to turn us all into criminals for smacking our children. Yep. The media tells us there will be a new law. Yes sir, a law that will ban smacking forever and make it illegal! Thousands of parents could be prosecuted. Courts will be tied up with frivolous smacking cases and the children will run riot. Or so the media has been telling us.

If we actually dig deeper this is only a repeal of a law, section 59 of the criminal act.

"Every parent or person in place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards a child if that force is reasonable in the circumstances."

This has be applied in court inconsistently for years

The word "reasonable" is what is being changed here. "Reasonable" means that a man was acquitted for whipping a twelve year old girl with a section of hose pipe. The whipping had left 15cm long raised welts all over her back. Its the kind of "punishment" that might make us gasp if we were watching it in a movie.

"Reasonable" means a jury let a man off for hitting his 8 year old son with a chunk of wood across the back of the legs, leaving massive bruising.

There is no "new" law banning smacking.

This law affords children the same protection as adults. If I am whipped across the back with a hose till I bleed by my boss, they cannot claim they were using reasonable force as a defense. So why should an adult be allowed to use this as defense for whipping a child?

The United Nations has recommend that this section of the crimes act be repealed so that we can meet our international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 10 European countries have already done so.

I am sick of one news and three news putting a ridiculous spin on this issue and dissapointed in a nation that believes everything they see on TV.

Action alert: Support repealing section 59
Interest in S59 welcome but fears are unwarranted

Chester Borrows (National MP) proposed amendment


Daddy said...

I am a firm believer that you should need to have a licence to become a parent.

James said...

I am a firm believer that all children should be beaten more often, or even banned outright. Especially on planes :-)

Seriously though, tub-thumping happens everywhere because it a) sells newspapers and b) sells politics.

Shame on those who buy it... it seems to be an unfortunate universal that people would rather react than investigate.

Zee said...

Ah it's just the media stirring up some controversy in lieu of news yet again - they even had me convinced for a while until I found out the real story.

Shame on them - whatever happened to balanced reporting? Or did it ever exist anyway? Probably not.

Cavegirl said...

There is no balance in the news, never has been, because I believe that there is no such thing as objectivity. The sad thing is that these media people try to pretend that they are being objective. And most people seem to buy it.

Anonymous said...

well they havnt banned contact sports so i guess we can through balls at our kids, cricket bats etc....and its only the parents that r banned from smacking kids so get ur mate to do it....thank me for the loop all serious, the people who bash there kids r not going to listen to a law, they will continue as they always have....
whats goin to happen when these kids grow up, do we need more police to handle the kids that dont know the word the police get accused of child abuse, do parents who dont smack a childs hand when its poking things in plug holes and dies get blamed, your damned if u do and damned if u don't.....i for one will never let the goverment run my home.....mum

Zee said...

Argh - do people understand nothing? They don't get it. Even half the politicians debating this obviously haven't read the bloody bill!

Hello people - it's not actually about smacking! That's the media slant that everybody is now fixated on.

It's about giving children legal rights against ABUSE. Smacking is not abuse unless it physically harms a child. It's designed to protect kids against being seriously beaten. Hello!?

Why do people argue things they obviously know bugger all about? Grrrrr!

Lucy said...

Hey Suzie! I read your blog as promised and it was a real eye opener, I'm glad you replied to my blog because I didn't know the whole story. Either way there are some sickos in this country and something needs to be done.