Thursday, March 15, 2007

unspinning Helen and Sue

see update below
Helen Clark has said that the section 59 anti smacking bill does not ban smacking.Sue Bradford says it does - then said it does not "explicitly ban" smacking. The National Party has reminded me of an interview I heard on Radio Rhema one Tuesday morning before the election.
Helen Clark: A lot of people aren’t comfortable with beatings but they don’t want to see, you know, stressed and harassed parents, you know, pulled in by the police because they, they smacked a child.

Bob McCroskie: So you do not want to see smacking banned?

Helen Clark: Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature.
She says she does not want to see smacking banned and she is voting for Sue Bradford's bill because she thinks it does not ban smacking even though the bill proponent technically does. In other words, to Clark, the law is only the law if you get prosecuted. Its irrelevant whether something is legal or illegal in this country unless you get prosecuted or convicted.

And y'know, she is not the only MP who thinks that way - but she is the only MP who wants to bully her MPs to vote her way.

UPDATE David Farrar asks of Helen Clark and Sue Bradford " Why can't they just tell the truth and say, "Yes the bill will ban smacking".

Heres why. Helen Clark would say smacking ( like self-defence) is already an assault under law. As it is unlawful, only the courts can decide whether this deemed unlawful assault should be within our legal framework by considering evidence and acquitting someone who was prosecuted and accused of assault on a child. Under common law the distinction between lawful self-defence and unlawful assault using self defence is the same as the difference between smacking and child abuse.

This means under the Bradford Bill, smacking will not be banned, as it already is unlawful - but under our legal system, smacking for correction will be, as the legal defence will be taken away. And it is our legal system that people are really concerned about, not our legislation, because the effect of the bill means our legal system outlaws smacking because there is no defence. In this case, legislation is the step that opens the door to concerns of our legal system.

Why do I say this - because if the courts are taken out of the equation, Bradfords bill doesnt make a scrap of difference. However, unlike the Labour, Green, Progressive, Maori and some of the United Future and Act caucus' I believe that people like CYFS workers will make damned sure that the courts are very much in the equation before the next election when National regains power and passes the Chester Borrows amendment.

1 comment:

Barbara said...


Against Anti Smacking Bill


Then do something about it BEFORE it's too late!

Join us in a PEACEFUL protest

Wednesday 28th March 2007

Beginning at Civic Square at 12pm then advancing to Parliament has all the information.

This is quite likely the most significant protest march you will ever attend - do not miss it. We must show the Government - who have been ignoring the public - exactly what Kiwis do think on this crucial issue.

Good parents will be criminalised if Bradford's bill becomes Law.

Make sure that it doesn't by supporting the march!

There will be marches also in Christchurch, Nelson and Fielding. has all the information on these marches, plus news updates, petition forms and info on how to email the MPs.

*This march will be peaceful, and children will be present. If anyone turns violent, we will be helping the police cart you off to jail.

For more information, see
or e-mail

Pass the word around about this please