Thursday, November 22, 2007

ZenTiger And it continues

A Masterton man is one of the first to be convicted under the law against smacking after he spanked his eight-year-old son three times on the bottom.

Post updated 9:15PM

This man's crime was to get angry. You shouldn't apply discipline when you are angry. Instead, the issue is cast as "smacking". Do you see the difference?

Is it so paranoid to expect a zero tolerance policy towards smacking in the future? One where government social workers remove children from parents immediately if the child should be physically disciplined. We wont hear about such cases, because they will not go to court. Parents will trade silence for access to their children.

In the leftist mind, physical punishment is far worse a crime than removing children from parents and placing them into the 'care of the state'. In the leftist mind, they believe smacking inevitably leads to beating children to death. Is it therefore possible to extrapolate that State intervention inevitably leads to splitting families apart in a far more damaging way than the passing sting of a smack?

One day people will realise this lot will be responsible for causing far more long term harm by the mental torture they will inflict on parents and children in their zealotry.

Update: Already the media are providing mixed reports of this case. It is hard to trust anything without seeing the actual court transcripts. Going with what I have seen in multiple sources is this:

The eight-year-old boy suffered a bruised shoulder after his 33-year-old father pulled him onto a bed and bent him over his knee, smacking him three times with an open hand across the buttocks.

The man is effectively being punished for bruising his son's shoulder - but the focus is on his receiving three smacks. Sue Bradford says "great". The problem I have with this is that violence from anger is not seen as something distinct from administering physical discipline in love, with an absence of anger. It's like a parent locking a kid in a cupboard and Sue Bradford banning time outs to prevent this sort of thing. You can't ban anger, stupidity and carelessness. Banning smacking to get at people guilty of something else is only going to cast the net wider than it should be cast.

Many people believe that physical discipline is unnecessary and cruel, and therefore they want to ban it. That simply seems ignorant of how responsible parents can apply it in a safe and responsible way. It is of course, usually just one of several options, in the parenting toolkit. Can and does a child learn from a short, sharp smack? Yes, just as they learn when they burn their hand, or jam their finger, or scrape their knee from a fall after doing something silly. A physical reminder, transient and trifling in nature, is still memorable enough to help learn, and hopefully help the child escape the more serious physical lessons in life - like breaking an arm.

As more of these cases come to light, there will inevitably be shakier and shakier justification. We will finally see just how much damage state intervention will do to the family unit, and to many families that need a different kind of help.

We will see punishments outweighing crimes. Just wait until a kid, in their total naivety, make up a story that sees Dad paying a $1,000 fine and the kid in a foster home for two months as the parents 'lying to save their skins' try to reverse the actions of a Child Youth Family officer aiming to hit his targets of "10 children saved".

Related Link: Man convicted for smacking a child

And this is where I noted It has started

Insert Pantene Commercial Here

15 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

The police have discretion on whether or not to prosecute based on if the smack is
inconsequential or not.

Sus said...

So what? That makes them judge as well as prosecutor, which is even worse.

And what of the police officers' individual characters? What if they're morons? The Louise Nicholas case comes to mind. You want people like that judging your actions? Damned if I do.

"Inconsequential" is typical Labour Party bullshit. Your definition of inconsequential maybe entirely different to mine. Shades of Marxist Wilson's use of the term "reasonable" in all the employment legislation she pushed through in her first term as AG.

Do not split hairs. That Masterton man now has a criminal conviction. Had this been 40 odd yrs ago, my terrific mum might be in the same boat - and many Kiwis would identify with that. Did that terrifying thought ever occur to you?

It's thoroughly shameful, as are excuses for it.

MK said...

It's socialist policy, the state knows all and knows better.

If the people don't wake up to all this, it will get to the stage where you'll all have to hand over your kids to the state, refuse to work, refuse to foster and join the welfare queue.

When the tax revenue dries up, you might get a chance to break the backs of these parasites. Preferably everyone will wake up before it gets to that stage.

Dave said...

Anon,

The police did not prosecute because ofteh smack, they prosecuted because ofa brused that was on a dofferent part of the body to where the boy was smacked.

Fronm the little we know of this case, I would have thought that you could have at least got that bit correct.

Kent Parker said...

It may not be a good idea to make flippant comments about this case. There appear to have been functional problems in the family and this situation may not be as 'harmless' as some people might like to make it out to be. Ask yourselves why the mother took a photo of the bruise on the child's shoulder. She would not have done that unless she (the mother of the child and the partner of the accused) had some concerns about his behaviour. While she didn't take the case to the police, a confidante of hers did and the assumption is that would not have happened without her consent. This is a case of motherly intervention not state intervention. His punishment is 9 months' supervision and counselling.

If the man was using violence as a common form of self-expression then the law has provided him with an incentive to change his behaviour. The court has the discretion to decide whether it was 'discipline' or 'assault' based on the evidence.

ZenTiger said...

I question whether removing Section59 would have made any difference.

The mother forwards a photo, some-one reports it, the Police decide they have evidence of assault and they prosecute.

The bruising was the shoulder, and done in anger. It isn't really about a smack.

As I said above: It's like a parent locking a kid in a cupboard and Sue Bradford banning time outs to prevent this sort of thing.

And if the photo thing escalated beyond the expectations of the mother, then a court case may actually drive a huge wedge of mistrust between parents that could be as hard to repair as the anger management issue.

All of the media attention is also bound to create a new level of stress.

I wish this family all the best and hope the experience ultimately improves things for them.

Kent Parker said...

Zen, there are two sides to the outcome.

1. If the mother didn't do anything, then she may continue to live in a violent situation which might be unsafe for her and for her child.
2. By doing something, she may lose her partner, or maybe, after he has recovered from the initial shame and anger, they might sort things out.

You know what relationships are like. Anything can happen.

The point of the legislation is to enable a person, such as this mother to sort out with her partner when an action against a child is assault, not discipline.

If a nosy neighbour was taking a case out against someone, then I might think differently, and maybe the police would be less likely to act, but in this case it is the mother.

ZenTiger said...

Only "two sides"? Nah, not buying that today. There are all sorts of sides. I don't really want to speculate though - we just don't know.

I say again - it didn't need a repeal of s59 to get her husband into court, or her into a refuge, or CYF to visit, or whatever.

Kent Parker said...

Who knows. At least Sue Bradford is happy and has something to tell her grandkids.

KG said...

If the mother took a photograph of the bruise and showed it to a friend, it sounds more like she was out to "get" the husband to me.
Plenty of women claim abuse by their husbands when a custody battle is looming, as a way of getting custody of the kids.
I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it happens and photographing an accidental bruise doesn't sound entirely innocent.
As for Bradford having something to tell her grandkids...perhaps she'll also be proud to tell them how she managed to ignore the wishes of more than 80% of New Zealanders, how she connived in treating the democratic process with contempt?

Greg B said...

we heard yesterday that the man convicted has a prior record on assault and other matters that make him 'known to the police'.

Rather than condemming him, the fact that the first person to be convicted had a prior record probably shows that PROSECUTORY DISCRETION selects ruffians but ignores the blonde mom in the SUV, dozens of which have administered smacks over the same period.

scott said...

I can't see why this couldn't have been dealt with under the old section 59? Now the police are interfering in people's lives.

The law is a blunt instrument and law-abiding citizens should not have to be badgered by the police simply for smacking their children. Unfortunately the law is an ass -- ordinary parents are being criminalised for physically disciplining their children.

At the moment the blonde mother in the SUV is been cautioned by the police. But how long before the police start prosecuting them?

I say change the government, bring back section 59, and please, can we find a place for Sue Bradford other than our House of Representatives?

KG said...

I can think of a place for Bradford.....
without an asbestos suit.

Oswald Bastable said...

let her kepp the asbestos suit.

It takes longer that way...

KG said...

You are an eeevil man, Oswald.
But it's a good idea. :-)

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