Friday, March 16, 2007

Lucia Katherine Rich - National MP happy to ban smacking, but not boyfriends

If you only ever listen to anything news related as you drive into work in the morning between 8 and 8:30am with your dial tuned to NewsTalk ZB, you could be forgiven for thinking that National is quite happy to ban smacking. That is certainly the impression I'd get if I read or listened to nothing else. Katherine Rich, a National MP has been on-air, applauding the coming Repeal of Section 59 and letting the listeners know that those mothers whose children misbehave in supermarkets are going to have to find some other way of rebuking their off-spring rather than the time-honoured smack on the behind.
Ever since my comment on DPF's blog on farm girls growing up to be wannabe totalitarians (referring to Helen Clark and Cactus Kate), I wondered if Katherine Rich was a farm girl, too. Likely, she was as in her bio it says she grew up on the Taieri Plains.

Could it be that there's something about growing up on a farm that makes NZ girls a little socialist. Could that be why socialism has gained such acceptance here? A horrifying thought, really.

Now, before anyone asks me, I'm not a farm girl. I grew up in the suburbs of Miramar, close to the airport. Both my parents were foreign, coming from situations of the kind of hardship that most New Zealanders couldn't even imagine. My mother grew up in Communist occupied Poland. My Dad survived Soviet Gulags. When you grow up hearing about people starving to death because there just wasn't any food, anything that happens in NZ just cannot be considered anything approaching poverty.

Bad things happen to good people all the time, so Cactus Kate's opinion below seems to be on par with the type of stupidity that I thought only Katherine Rich, Sue Bradford, Helen Clark and Paul Holmes were capable of.
[...] most laws are an attempt to protect the stupid from themselves and unfortunately New Zealand's worst child abusers are the poor and stupid. This is a law aimed at the lowest forms of life in New Zealand that can't be trusted at all not to beat the be jesus out of their kids as they are not sophisticated enough to tell the difference between a gentle smacking and a Jake The Muss beating. It can turn the middle and upper class gentle smackings into a criminal offence, yes, but you are just going to have to live with the changes for the sake of the offspring of the poor and stupid.
Lots of poor and stupid people do not beat their children. I've known lots of poor (by NZ standards) people who do not beat their children.

New Zealand's problem is not that we have lots of "poor and stupid" people. New Zealand's problem is an out of control loss of morality, where children are "oopps, how did that happen, our protection failed" by products, or specifically created to get the person onto a DPB lifestyle, so they can party courtesy of the taxpayer with various boyfriends. A child is most at risk from the boyfriend of his or her mother.

Now, these women are not on the DPB because they are poor or stupid, they are poor because they are on the DPB. Big difference.

Banning smacking will do nothing to discourage these boyfriends from back-handing their girlfriends' annoying offspring across the room. What would be far more successful is banning boyfriends. But no one in New Zealand wants to ban boyfriends, all the government stay out of the bedroom banshees would go bonkers at even the suggestion that the government could have any sort of a say on whether or not a girl could have a sexual relation with a boy who is not committed to her and any children they might have for as long as they both shall live. We'd probably have a revolution then.

No, far better to do something everyone know will fail anyway, and attempt the ban on smacking. After all, think of the children!

13 comment(s):

Andrei said...

The Taeri plains is hardly back blocks NZ Lucyna.

Like most politicians in Parliament today Katherine Rich learnt her politics at uni and as such is an urban liberal, no conservative that's for sure.

I suspect that a lot of our politicians in parliament today are politicians first and choose there party as a matter of pragmatism rather than deep seated commitment to an ideology.

Katherine Rich would fit in the Labour party just as well as the Nats in my view.

We could form the acronym NINO (national in name only) for such people. (Borrowed from the US where DINO and RINO are in common useage).

Lucyna said...

Oh well, I was taking a wild stab. I looked it up and what I found said it was agricultural.

Gooner said...

I consider myself an urban liberal and can't think of anything worse than this bill.

Got an acronym for me Andrei!

darren said...

I just loved the idea of Cactus Kate and Helen Clark in the same breath , as if they are alike.
Actually, it has more than a ring of truth.

But to the issue at stake, when I was a kid, i was hit maybe once or twice, not much more.
And it was hardly a beating.
But how would it help matters to get the police and social servcies involved if there was just maybe one overstepping of the mark.
I think the government has opened up a huge can of worms here.

Andrei said...

Got an acronym for me Andrei!
Not an acronym - no

Will Nick do?

As I understand it you are a libertarian and your opposition to this bill and mine for that matter comes from libertarian principles, ie the Government should butt out of peoples lives.

I am a small government conservative and you are a small government libertarian would be my interpretation (am I wrong?)

We agree on 99% of things but part company over social issues, such as prostitution, gay marriage, drug usage and the like. (an over simplification I'm sure)

Wasn't the issue that divided the ACT party the tension between Conservatives and Libertarians with the libertarians becoming ascendant.

I don't mind what a persons views are if they are sincerly held and honestly and openly debated - it is the hypocrits who appear to stand for something and then change with the wind who get up my nose.

A little secret, I knew who would win in my electorate and that the main opposition to that candidate would also be in parliament thru the vagaries of MMP. Even an upset would have seen the same useless pair in parliament, which is kind of dispiriting.

So I cast my electorate vote for a very left wing candidate who stood up and plainly spoke for what he believed in from the heart and was prepared to defend it articulatly and politely. It was safe enough he didn't stand a hope in hell of getting elected but I didn't think he deserved to lose his deposit and all the rest were wishy washy libbies who would say whatever it took to get elected, non of them were people of any substance and the results were a foregone conclusion.

Cactus Kate said...


What's your actual point?

I made mine. That this is a Bill aimed at saving the children of Labour, Alliance and Green party voters from their stupid parents who can't differentiate between a smack and a severe beating.

I doubt the Socialists are going to use my argument as the political right being in support of what they are doing. Are they? Saying what I did hardly makes me a Socialist. In fact to the contrary, it's quite derogatory towards them.

Where did I say ALL poor and stupid people beat their children? I said NZ's worst child abusers ARE poor and stupid. Open the papers and read this daily it is a fact.

It's a stupid Bill aimed at stupid people. Plenty of laws are like that. Again - my point.

And so what I grew up on a farm? You grew up next to a friggin' airport.

If you are going to attack what I write then at least do it coherently. This post is all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Lucyna, good post. I personally have always thought Katherine Rich is more of a liability to National than an asset. And I certainly dread her getting in charge of the education ministry.
I don't know about farm girls being totalitarian though. Many of the farm girls I have met, and the farming families I hang out with, are just the opposite. They know what they think all right but they aren't power mad like Clark. But all that proves is that I don't know any power crazy farm girls...

Cactus Kate
Actually, NZ's worst child abusers are rich and smart - they are called abortionists. They spent 7 years getting the certs to train in it and then another 5-6 learning how to kill in fancy ways. And they ALL know fancy lawyers - go figure. Consequently, your argument regarding child abusers being poor and stupid is just that - poor and stupid. Stick to trust funds and legal stuff. Your good at that.

Lucyna said...

Cactus, you're right. This post is all over the place. I sometimes do these "stream of consciousness" type things.

I was thinking the other day that those of us who grew up near airports have developed the ability to stop whatever conversation we were having when a large plane came by and then when the noise died down enough, go back to where we were. Helps enormously when you have children as they run up and interrupt at the top of their lungs. Drives my husband crazy as he forgets what he was saying.

I found an article a few years ago from the 60's where some intellectual was rabbiting on on how it wasn't fair that university types weren't respected in NZ. That all this place was interested in was farming and rugby and that the only way to change that was to get more women into universities. That was back in the 60's and if I can ever find the article again, I'm sure I could develop this theme of farm girls turning into totalitarians a bit better.

Anyway, my point really is that banning smacking just so the worst abusers don't smack is sillier than banning sexually active boyfriends. If we banned everyone's sexually active boyfriends, then NZ wouldn't have most of the child abuse problems it does. Do you think you could get on board with that as a concept?

Sb said...

Give you are against Government intervention in peoples lives exactly how would you ban boyfriends?


ZenTiger said...

Hey Super Bob, you are not following the conversation.

Lucyna wouldn't ban boyfriends.

The point she was making was that Sue Bradford wants to ban something to reduce child abuse. Sue is keen to ban smacking. That's going to do the trick, she tells us.

Thus, Lucyna suggested the Sue may as well ban boyfriends if Sue wants to reduce violence against children.

How Sue wants to enforce this is not the point. Apparently, she is keen to ban smacking, but assures us the police will not enforce this. It just wont be able to be used as a defence in court to anyone that hits children. Just like the whole 7 times this defence has been successfully used in the past 15 years or so.

Anyway, the point is, this banning sends a message to society that boyfriends around children are BAD.

So young single mothers with both children and boyfriends, better get rid of one of those things.

Sb said...


Got caught up in the detail rather than the principle!

I follow you zentiger thanks.


JC said...

"I found an article a few years ago from the 60's where some intellectual was rabbiting on on how it wasn't fair that university types weren't respected in NZ. That all this place was interested in was farming and rugby and that the only way to change that was to get more women into universities. That was back in the 60's and if I can ever find the article again, I'm sure I could develop this theme of farm girls turning into totalitarians a bit better."

Sounds like Bill Pearson's "Fretful Sleepers" 1952.

"New Zealanders delegate authority and then forget about it"

"But in countries nominally democratic, fascists have first to prepare the ground. In New Zealand the ground is already prepared, in these conditions: a docile sleepy electorate, veneration of war-heroes, willingness to persecute those who don't conform, gullibility in the face of headlines and radio peptalks. New Zealanders may well wake up one day to find a military dictator riding them and wonder how he got there."

And of course the farm girl/wife is a totalitarian.. she had responsibility for the menfolk, looking after thousands of animals at a time when the men were away, dealing with agents and buyers and contractors etc and looking after other men and women in the district who were crook as a neighbour or through Womens Division.

She was a boss and more than ready to take on responsibility as required, and she carries this attitude through her life in politics and other organisations. More than the city girl, she rubs daily with all classes, the men in the family, the shearers, the bulldozer driver, the possum hunter, the rousies, the neighbours, the school teacher, the hay bailer, the mechanic etc and she understands their quirks and foibles and has to command their respect on behalf of her menfolk and the farming enterprise.

I've got the figures somewhere.. 70% of farm wives are consulted on the big decisions to do with the farm and 10% make all the decisions.. there's the making of a boss class.

So, in politics, you'll get a fair few who have no difficulty in taking charge and using their developed talent of 'managing" processes to achieve results. And in many cases, this very nature of managing will exclude the esoteric, the woolly wooftering, the non practical, the idealistic and the posturing.

Clark shouldn't be seen as a politician so much as a manager of the Labour enterprise in Parliament, and she's been damned efficient at it.. but there's no longer much idealism there and there's a narrowing of vision...


Gooner said...

Good comment Andrei. I am not a libertarian, I am a classic liberal. Libertarians don't believe in the State at all whereas I beleive it should be as small as possible and should regulate as a last resort. And I agree on your electoral position. Even Helen Clark has acknowledged that Act sticks to its principles even if it looks silly doing so.

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