Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anger directed at John Key for the wrong reason

In the past few days my support for the passage of the Key/Clark/Palmer/Dunne amendment to Sue Bradford's smacking bill has led to comments in my email in box calling for me to shut down my blog and to "castigate" John Key for supporting the amendment - along with other unreasonable requests. Some people were really angry. I mean really angry.

Firstly, this is my blog. I write what I want to. So I will continue to do so.

What I can't understand about these people is why they are so angry about the amendment which confirms that police will have discretion when investigating smacking complaints. Why are they angry at John Key for an amendment he didn't write, amending a bill that is not even his, that legally changes nothing to a bill with his agreement he has made slightly better, for a bill that was going to pass without his vote anyway?

I would have thought they would have been angry at National for announcing its intention to vote for the bill - but even more angry at National MPs for voting against the Chester Borrows amendment when it was reignited as a Rodney Hide amendment. Such a vote would have given the message that National supported parents right to smack their kids without breaking the law, even if the amendment didn't pass. Voting against the bill will also give that message.

In last month's speech to the Salvation Army, John Key said
If the reality is that no one is ever going to be prosecuted for lightly smacking their child, then don't make it illegal. Don't make it a crime.

In a matter of days National agrees to an amendment it says makes it even more likely that parents won't be prosecuted and announces its intention to vote for a bill making smacking a crime. Incredible. Not one of the people who emailed me pointed out the contradiction between Keys speech and National's current position because they were too fixated on the amendment.

As a result of the passage of the amendment, National now believes that no one will be prosecuted for lightly smacking their child so its MPs awill now vote for the bill. It doesn't matter to National if smacking is illegal. It doesn't matter if smacking is a crime. As a group, National is now giving the big middle finger to parents who want to live within the law. This is because National along with MPs in all parties but ACT supports the right of parents to break the law in the belief that they are not going to be caught.

MP's should support the bill only if they think it is fine for parents to break the law as long as they are not going to be prosecuted.

And most do, apparently. Parliament is going to redefine parliamentary intent by including breaking the law it is making as part of that intent, because of one word that is to be deleted from Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

That word is justification.

There will no longer be legal justification for correcting kids. Consequently, good parents may be subject to a CYFS complaint for breaking the law and that is fine with Helen Clark because she is so chuffed that she is able to get the bill off the agenda before the budget.


Anonymous said...

You make some good points here.
I have said before and will here, this is not about religion.

It is about law and constitution.

You don't make a law and expect people to break it and not get prosecuted.
Is anyone out there?
Which ignoramus thought that one up?

Oh I remember a liar who wanted to stop parents smacking (beating) their kids.

Just top recap.
Under sec 59 parents who smacked did not break the law. fullstop.
They were justified and didn't face the penalty of up to 2yrs in jail for assault on a child.

However they were subject to the check of sec 59 and the courts if the police thought they had breached sec 59.

If the court (read jury) agreed with the parents that they were justified then they did not get convicted.

If not then they went straight to jail and did no pass go, nor get $200 etc etc

What is the situation after MR Keys great idea to cosy up to the head of the sisterhood.
Now ALL parents who smack will BREAK THE LAW.
(Hello Peter Dunne & John Key)

Not only that they will be subject to a police force who are made up of individuals and subject to their interpretations on the evidence. worse some of them might be biased and partial.

So now the police force will face claims of corruption and racism for many police are european and a good few smackers are not.

I ask you do you honestly trust the police to make these decisions?

I don't and I think it is very stupid to leave societal decisions like this to to a state organ.
The state is a blunt instrement.

Why else would we elect politicians?
But to make decisions and write Good Law.
Democarcy means the laws that we want too!
Hello does 80% mean anything to Mr Dunne and Mr Key.

Now what have we got?

1. A protection in law taken away after 80% said NO don't do it!

2. Decisions in the hands of a state organ (who many of us think is suspect at best).

3. Other state organs who we know have our very best interests at heart and would never do anything partially or from their own personal ideology. Will be called upon to investigate our homes, cupboards (metaphorically) and abuse our families.
(from reading this blog for ages)
Unless you're reporting has been worng and incorrect Dave.

4. Worse still it appears ANYONE who has a gripe or ideology can lay a private prosecution against said parents if they smack.

And everyone is saying "what a great statesman John Key is. How he has muzzled Helen's campaign against him in 2008.

Well I won't forget and every parent harrassed and prosecuted I intend help him remember.
Lets set up a website to keep account for election day.

I am incensed that these unintended consequences mentioned above have been pointed out to him before he did his little deal with "She who must be obeyed".

So no Dave I'm not on the same page as you.
And the 80% of parents were not all "fundie right wing Christians" as the media and Labour tried to amke out.
Probably aren't either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I thought your other post on the greens calling it an anti smacking bill.

I note that Sue Bradford said very clearly there what she was about.
why no coverage like that in the media?

To satify a UN position on children.
yeah right.

I ask the question "did that swing it for Mr Key? was that his intention?"

What else can we expect should he become prime minister?

What other rights/protections or soveriengties will we lose under National under him?

dad4justice said...

Talking about satisfying a UN mandate regarding children, I wonder if the socialist National Party is going to keep the status quo regarding our governments spiteful stance towards the UN Doha Declaration on Family?

Mum and dad are NOT equal in kiwiland -yeah right !!

Stinking blue - sell out socialists - lost my vote !

Anonymous said...

I just sent an email to The National Party MP's.

Dear MP's

I like many ordinary people have little understanding of the pressures you operate under, but we expect you to be fair and honest in your dealings that affect us.

The fact that National complained so loudly that Labour were whipping the SEC 59 amendment was listened to by the electorate and applauded by the voters.

Especially 80% of the voters.

It was sensible considering the sheer social changes the amendment was advocating and the very real processes that parents would be put through and the potential damage to families that could unfold.

Even the police advice backed that up (see attached doc's)

Now that The National Party is whipping it's MP's over essentially the same bill will also noted by the electorate.
Personally, I call it hypocrisy as there is no real change to NZ parents legal position if one is truly honest.

1. It is poor law making when you write a law but then expect people to deliberately break it and then leave the consequences to a state agency!

2. I am appalled and so will the electorate be as each and every parent who is subjected to both Police and CYPS process and procedures comes into the media.

3. Worse than that will be the fallout when parents are prosecuted privately by third parties even if the police decline to prosecute.

4. This will undermine the police and the rule of law and as a consequence bring parliament and the courts into disrepute as the above happens.

This is shameful, unless of course, your aim was to stop smacking and penalise parents who did. Which you clearly did not elucidate to the voters.

Accordingly I attach the relevant police documents for your perusal as well as common sense attitudes in the UK and Canada.

John Key your leader may have made an agreement with Helen Clark but he hasn't with the NZ Voter. That comes next year as it does for you all.

This criminalising of parents which 80% of voters across demographics did not want will not go away, and especially as the voters become aware of 1,2,3 and 4 above.
Here's my first letter to the editor and be assured there will be many more as each ordinary NZ family is traumatised.