Monday, August 31, 2009

Lucia John Key - another interview on smacking after the previous one

This interview is with Mike Hosking on NewsTalkZB last Thursday morning, in response to the fallout from the Government's stance on smacking. Sorry, it took awhile, I was finding it really hard to keep going through it, hearing the same crap over and over again. Mike Hosking was pretty good, though.

MH (15:18): So, wouldn't you know it, eh? The Government spent the first part of the week trying to hose down the public's upset over the lack of response to the smacking referendum when out of the old ballot box comes John's Boscawin's private member's bill on .... smacking!

The glimmer of hope from supporters that National might have a bit of a look at it is squashed when John Key says that he won't be supporting it so it is dead in the water. Why?

John Key is with us, good morning.

JK: Good morning, Mike!

MH (15:43): Were you even slightly tempted to give this a bit of support or not?

JK: Ah, do you mean in terms of the smacking, ah ...

MH: Yes.

JK: ...bill, that was drawn?

Oh, you know, I..ah, did check with a few colleagues just ah to make sure ah that people were comfortable with the decision I was making, but, ah, look, the, the basic principal here is a, is a relatively straight forward one. It's not that I don't understand that people are a little frustrated or have some unease at the current legislation.

(16:09) Not because I think [big breath in] or maybe even they think the way it's been implemented, um, but in the way the law is written, ah, but to go and change the law today when it is working in practise because of the way that the police officers are administering it, ah, would spend, consume a lot of parliament's time, ah, and I believe there is a way to navigate through this to give parents comfort without actually having to change the law.

MH (16:34): So, what we've got now is the ignoring of a referendum and the ignoring of a private member's bill. Are you not a fan of the democratic process?

JK (16:41): [Audible breath in] No, I am, um, and you know look, the referendum
didn't actually ask for specifically for law to be changed, um it did say that people thought they should be able to lightly smack and ..

MK: Well, the private member's bill does!

JK: [Big breath in] .. yes, ah and my (16:55) point would be this. You know
moves that we making on the back of the referendum, referendum said[?]
and that is a number of things. Number one is ah, we are gonna make sure that on an unfilterd, unbiased basis New Zealanders can see the information about whether there are actually complaints and convictions around smacking. [Audible breath]
We'll do that on a six-monthly basis If the trend changes and
parents are criminalised for lightly smacking a child, I'll change the law, I don't
need a member's bill to do that. It's a cast iron, ah [throat catch], assurance. [Throat clear] Excuse me.

The second
thing is that I think there is the need to, um..., do a better job in terms of
tidying up the procedures, not for the police so much, although we'll look at those because they're at the front line, but particularly child youth and family and the referrals between the two, and we've un .. undertaken that work.

MH (17:40): Why not a free vote?

JK : [Audible breath] Ah, well, w.. we could do, um ...

MK : But yeah but why not?

JK: Well, it wasn't a conscience vote in the end last time, um ..., although we could have done that, ah, but in the end, er, that was the view that, ah, that we took as a group.

MK: Do you fear a free vote?

JK (17:55): No, no, I don't actually, f.. fear that, ah, ah, very probably it wouldn't have got through actually, depending on what the other parties had done, ah there would be a decent group in National that ah would vote against it in numbers I think, I don't know how many that would be certainly a group that would have voted no, um ... and on that basis, you know, it probably wouldn't have got through if the other parties had voted no.

MH: Are ACT peeved?

JK: Oh look, I wouldn't have thought so
John Boscawin obviously feels strongly about it
and put the bill in the ballot, um..., but that's
you know, the nature of those things
we've voted pretty much against [laugh] every member's bill so far this year.

MH: Has Rodney threatened to quit.

JK (18:37): No.

MH: Despite you say that the law is working do you think potentially here misread the public's mood?

JK: [Audible in-breath] No, no [voice is a higher pitch, like someone is squeezing him] I think the public are frustrated, I understand that, um, the question is that if you want to go back to a bill that is about smacking your kids, you get into all sorts of definitional issues
and into all sorts of different challenges. Now
[in breath] if the law doesn't work, then that's where we going to have
have to go, parliament is going to have to draft a bill that says you can smack this
hard but you can't smack that hard,
you can use an implement or you can't use an implement
etc, etc, and I accept that
I said if the law doesn't work, I'll do that (19:14)
But in practise alot of laws are administered in a different way from the way they are written. People don't get a speeding ticket if driving 53K in a 50K area, um and in so on and so forth... there's many areas like that. [Audible in-breath] As I say, if you go back just in the last calendar year there were 33 complaints about smacking, one withdrawn from prosecution, 83000 for domestic violence

MH: What if you get hits in the polls next time?

JK: We will, um, slightly.

New Zealanders also have to say that ... they get frustrated if leaders don't listen, I understand that, but, you know I am a leader that um that listens I believe. There's lots of things I've done that
on your show a couple of weeks ago and you were pretty aggressively getting into me on folic acid.

But if we go back to this today, in the middle of an economic recession (20:21)
that we've got it will consume the time of parliamentarians around the country
and it's my view that we need to get out of the economic recession we're in
lift those education standards for young New Zealanders
We need to fix up the health system
[audible in breath] and I need to be solely focused on that
And in the end I suspect when we go to the ballot box in 2011
[audible in breath] New Zealanders will judge the National Government
and me over whether we've had the leadership to guide ourselves through
guide our country through through these challenging issues
[audible in breath] and whether as a leader [audible in breath] I've got some sense of what is a top priority and what is not. I mean that is the ultimate democratic test, um, it may well be that I get thrown out of office. That is the way that democracy works, but it may also be that I'm not and in the end I've got to make thousands of decisions and this was just another one that came along.

(21:14) [Interview ends]

Points of note:

"In the end I've got to make thousands of decisions..." - so, our Prime Minister's role is to decide what the Government does or doesn't do. Interesting. I wasn't aware the PM had that much power. Surely on that basis alone, the public ought to therefore be voting on who they want as the PM, if this is the case?

On taking a hit in the polls, I wonder what the other National MPs and the National Party think of this. Is smacking worth losing the next election over? So far, from the complete silence over this issue, it seems smacking is that important. How weird.

"But if we go back to this today, in the middle of an economic recession -
Money, money, money, that's all that's important. Stop wasting my time over anything that's not about money or the economy. Unnecessary government intrusion into your families just doesn't cut it as an important enough issue to bother me about right now ... In other words, anything is justified if something "more important" is going on at the time.

I love this comment, which sums up an easy counterargument, made on at NBR:
Why couldn't he just have said " Look, on the basis of the referendum results, I'm going to make changes to this law, but other more pressing matters need to be dealt with now. We'll put in place measures to ensure good parents are not charged, and once we've got the urgent legislation through the house, we can sort this law." BUT, because he had already said he wouldn't do anything, he shot himself and National in both feet.

~ Brian commenting on NBR, at 10:09 am on August 28, 2009

The whole interview is filled with inconsistencies, but I'll leave everyone reading this to judge the rest of them. I'll finish with a short excerpt on the science of lying:
Humans practicing mendacity, otherwise known as lying, exhibit numerous physical and verbal cues that can be objectively measured, researchers reported at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Researchers at the Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, IL reviewed 64 peer-reviewed articles and 20 books on mendacity. From these they derived an index of 23 clinically practical physical and verbal signs of dissimulation. Many of the books used in the project are standard texts for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies involved in interrogating suspects.

Physicals cues believed to be associated with lying include an increased incidence of leaning forward, licking the lips, touching the nose, averting the gaze and handling objects. An insincere smile, characterized by lack of movement of the wrinkle lines around the eyes is another well know indicator of lying. People who are lying also often reveal themselves verbally. Verbal cues include the increased use of verbal qualifiers or modifiers, the use of expanded contractions (e.g. I did not rather than I didn't), stuttering, throat clearing and speech errors.

Related Link: NewsTalk ZB Audio
Right-click on link, choose SAVE AS, change extension of file to .WMA
It probably exists in the interview section as well.

1 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Not sure where the original quote is (I think National Radio; may be on their archives), but deputy police commissioner Rob Pope said straight after the S59 referendum result, that police had been 'going soft' (or words to that effect) on S59 investigations and prosecutions since the law came into effect in 2007.

So an admission that the 'small' number of investigations and prosecutions so far is not indicative of future police policy towards smacking prosecutions.

This is quite concerning, as it shows police working in a partisan fashion to 'smooth' Sue Bradford, Helen Clark & John Key's law into public acceptability (possibly because of the multi-party MP support). Contrast it with the immediate 'arrest & prosecute' attitude of police on the Wanganui gang patch law - 1 arrest straight after the bylaw comes into effect.

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