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Faux pro-smacking march fun

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, November 17th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: activism, humour - Tags:

With all his usual wit, James of Editing the Herald proposes a spike of the so-called ‘March for Democracy’ in Auckland this week. The full post is well worth reading but here’s the meat:

Democracy’s greatest heroes, from Thomas Jefferson to Tony Blair, appeared to me in a dream and showed me a glorious vision: a vision of sensible people, people like you and me, joining the march and showing it to be ridiculous. I am inviting you to come to the march! (You may already be going, in which case this is a bit awkward.)

At the moment it’s a bit difficult to tell what the emphasis of the march is: mob rule or hitting children. The organisers are emphasising the former, but in a country where most people’s closest experience with democracy is voting for Dancing with the Stars I can’t see many people getting out of bed for that. Surely almost all the opposition today to the s59 amendment is simply petulance – petulance that would, ironically, normally see a child smacked.

Given that police on site will probably frown on people marching with pitchforks and flaming torches, we may have to do with banners. Should none of the banners from the March for Democracy website suit, here are a few suggestions:

  • Do what the mob says!
  • Down with Auntie Helen!
  • Start talking smack!
  • Nannies have no place in raising our children!
  • Down with this sort of thing!

Let your imaginations run wild. Anyway, I anticipate a fun and unusual day out, and would encourage you to find some like-minded people, tell them to come along, and then beat them until they agree. I’ll post more details this week, but the details of the March itself are:

1.30pm, Saturday 21 November (this Saturday)
Corner of Fort St and Queen St in the Auckland CBD
That’s just outside the QF Tavern, which would be a good place for a pre-march beer.

Sounds like fun!

41 comments on “Faux pro-smacking march fun ”

  1. Noko 1

    Democracy’s greatest heroes, from Thomas Jefferson to Tony Blair

    HA! If that isn’t satire, I don’t know what is.

  2. vto 2

    The authors on the standard show a consistent and unfortunate arrogance and assumed superiority. And of course arrogance is always accompanied by its cuzzie Ignorance.

    “in a country where most people’s closest experience with democracy is voting for Dancing with the Stars”

    And also seen in lprent’s lynch mob post a couple of days ago. All superiority and arrogance, with little understanding or even attempts to understand their fellow citizens understandings.

    Vast swathes of the population get written off with one or two strokes of the keyboard, nothing more. And usually the left wing voting types ironically.


    • “with little understanding or even attempts to understand their fellow citizens understandings”

      Maybe VTO there is too much understanding of some of our fellow citizens understandings or lack thereof. The anti smacking referendum is a stunning example. A poorly worded petition essentially reflects what the law currently states and there is this huge uproar. People will march on Saturday and indignantly demand that the law is changed to … well what it currently says.

      And what do the Police or Social Welfare know? Family First’s prejudice is so much better informed than the intense scrutiny of the Act that the Police and Social Welfare have subjected it to.

      • Geek 2.1.1

        Mob rule aside surely you agree a piece of legislation which is essentially written to be ignored by the police is a poor piece of legislation. The second clause of the act states that any physical discipline carried out for the purposes of correction is an offense. This was said to not be a concern because the police will use common sense as to when to apply the law. This of course allows a law to be passed which makes any smack of a child for discipline a crime. This means down the track there is nothing in legislation to stop a future minister of justice quietly instructing police to enforce the letter of the law.

        This is no different to the current law to increase surveillance. It is written nicely and some will argue if you don’t break the law you have nothing to worry about, however it is a means of eroding people rights.

        And before you try to discount my opinion I never have and have no intention of hitting my children. I do not purpose to impose my own morals on others however.

        • Pascal's bookie

          “And before you try to discount my opinion I never have and have no intention of hitting my children. I do not purpose to impose my own morals on others however.”

          I assume you are not a thief either, and that you are in favour of laws against theft. Which would make the general claim in your last quoted sentence, false. No? (It may be that it is just your morals about hitting children that you would refrain from enforcing on others, for example.)

          The discretion clause that seems to offend you is redundant as I understand it, in that the Police already have discretion of the sort outlined. Do you think that discretion should be removed?

          • Geek

            That’s a hell of an assumption. I think almost everyone has stolen something in their lives. However it is disingenuous to compare completely different things. After all I think it is morally wrong for women to have abortions. That how ever is my own feelings on the matter and I would not state that it should be against the law. My morals don’t need to be foisted on others.

            No I don’t think discretion should be removed. What should be removed is poorly worded legislation that makes something a crime which is to not be enforced. It only takes a change in leadership for discretion to be adjusted. Not because of some insidious attempt to rib us of our rights but because different people will have differing opinions as to what is acceptable and to claim that common sense can be applied is just stupid.

            • Pascal's bookie

              It’s not disingenuous to see how different things work out under a general principle though. It goes toward working out if whether or not the general principle is the one that is actually being applied. Missing my, rather obvious, point there does look disingenuous to me though.

              Given that you don’t want to force your morals on anyone then, on what basis do you support laws? Why should we have laws against theft, murder, etc, and why should children be exempted from protection from the assault laws in certain circumstances?

              All I am saying is that your general claim appears to prove too much.

              On the other matter, if they rewrote the law getting rid of the explicit discretion clause, and instead relied on the implicit one that you are happy with, then you would be satisfied?

            • Herodotus

              PB Commented “and why should children be exempted from protection from the assault laws in certain circumstances?” What utter arrogance you display. So under your perfect world everyone should be treated the same?
              So no male female assult, time out is banned, children can vote, no age limit on any action say voting, driving, gambling etc. why have a young persons court, criminal offences for all should be the same?
              Smacking is permitted already under the law as I understand.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Calm down herodotus. I was asking a question. On what planet is that arrogance?

              if you look, you’ll see that the question is aimed at finding out if the general claim that Geek doesn’t like to impose morality on others is actually applied generally. I was trying to see how such a principle would work with relation to other laws.

            • Daveosaurus

              “Smacking is permitted already under the law as I understand.”

              Congratulations. At last somebody understands this simple fact. The only thing that’s banned is actual violent child abuse.

            • Herodotus

              Some may not listen to Zb about 10;00 this morning, re a man being charged and found guilty of having a weapon (This was in England) , which he found. I worry giving the police too much discretion, giving this example and the case re the gun shop owner. Should we not have better scripted laws?
              PB I have calmed down. I am a wee bit angry over 2 things now S59 change (Which I was getting over) and now “gifting” a few billion on some carbon crap. Why do we bother?

            • Pascal's bookie

              Didn’t hear that (the zb thing) and I agree it sounds silly, though I suppose the guy should have handed the weapon into police or something. But like I say, I don’t know the circumstances.

              I certainly think that we should have well scripted laws, but I’m convinced that this doesn’t necessarily mean that laws should be highly detailed and try to take account of every situation that might arise. I think that, as citizens, we can look at the system as a whole (lawyers, judges and police for example can’t do that so much, they are duty bound to focus on the aspect they are responsible for, because that’s they way the system works). It is not solely about the words of the law, though that is very important but also about how they are enforced, and how those accountable for the process are held to account.

              People are ornery animals. If we try and make laws very clear cut and specific, people will think up ways around them.

              Generally speaking we know what type of thing we are trying to make illegal. The more we define that in the law, granting various exemptions for things and what have you, the more ways we grant for people to plan their otherwise illegal actions to fit the exemption. When it comes to court, the accused has the law there to protect them as it is written, and the jury must abide by that even though they may feel that is a perverse outcome.

              Tying this to S59, some juries were letting people off for quite harsh things. eg, In the Timaru woman case we don’t know if the jury felt that hitting a child with a riding crop was actually acceptable parenting. They may have, but we don’t know that. What we do know is that they felt it was covered by s59 and that they couldn’t convict. The uproar that followed showed that as a society, there was at least some dispute about the idea that this was acceptable parenting, so S59 became a political issue.

              Purely for the sake of the argument let’s assume that hitting with a riding crop is not the sort of thing s59 was intended to exempt, ie the law (or rather, society) intended that such cases would be criminal. It may be that that case was an aberration and that the law was otherwise working well, but that doesn’t change the fact that the aberration exists. Those sorts of aberrations give license to people to do things the law is intended to prohibit. Further, they give the police cause to refrain from charging in similar cases where the precedent could be raised in court. From this, I think it is fair to say that s59 needed to be changed.

              The ‘Chester Burrows amendment’ attempted to get around this by more tightly defining what was allowed, but this just gives the potential abuser a tool kit for legal abuse. I understand that he has since said that he no longer supports his amendment for that reason.

              With the new scripting, the law gets around this by using other parts of the justice system to make the distinction that S59 tried, (and arguably failed) to carve out between acceptable parenting and abuse.

              I agree with you that we shouldn’t just give police carte blanche discretion about everything, and that that’s dangerous. But I do think we can make their role work as a part of the broader system. If the police abuse their discretion, that will have consequences.

              The police will lose support amongst the people. That is support that the police actually need and value, even though they do on occasion abuse it. The people can and do respond to those abuses in a number of ways.

              Politicians will also be held accountable for police actions and policy. If the police start ‘locking up good parents’ then there will be a political backlash and the law will change. This is John Key’s position. He is not waiting for a backlash based on ‘nanny state’ or raw populist arguments, he is waiting for a backlash based on the fact that the law isn’t working.

              To me, the current campaigners are getting a little ahead of themselves. We are yet to see if the new law has the bad effects they claim in terms of good parents being locked up, while we know that the old law wasn’t working as well as society wanted it to.

              This is getting too long, but I hope you didn’t find it too arrogant. It’s not intended that way, and it’s all just my own personal views around the subject, as a citizen.

            • Herodotus

              PB- re riding crop from my reading of the court case (Not all of it) the headlines could have made the case more severe than what people envisage. There are cases whereby people “get off” with the ability of a friendly jury, good defense, poor proscutuion etc. I remember a policeman being killed and the perpertrator (Not convicted on a techno, I think he was under 18 & police did not follow protocol)) There will always be rogue cases and to reconstruct law on one case can become poor law.
              How is it we can smack to stop an action from happening e.g. before the little darling runs accross the road, but ther eis no defense to repremand post the action?
              I can not find a consistent reason for S59 from S Bradford, her reasoning fluctuated. Was it primarily to: stop killings, to place children under law the same as adults, or to rectify the Un report in 2001?
              Re the effects of the S59 change, I have never heard the number of parents have files that CYFS (Or who ever they are now) has as a consequence from police action.

            • BLiP

              but there is no defense to repremand post the action?

              Because the cold, deliberation application of violence against a child “post the action” does not work in modifying behaviour. Rather, it is the manifestation of a disturbed mind justifying assault.

            • Geek


              My imposition of morals is more about not having the ego to assume that because I think something is not morally right that my opinion should be applied to all.

              You are correct that when it comes down to it Laws are the application of moral value upon those to whom they apply. When these laws are introduced they need to put to the test of public scrutiny. Do those upon whom the restriction will be placed acctept that it is neccisarry.

              The issue I have with the changes to s59 is that when this was finally put up to the public people either didn’t feel strongly enough to have an opinion or those who did hugely favored the status quo.

              If you were to have a referendum tomorrow on whether theft should be considered a crime I would accept that I can’t do any ting about the guy stealing my telly but it doesn’t mean I am going to kick my neighbors door down and steal his Sofa. My own morals would be in opposition to society but it would not be my place to assume that I know more than they do.

              Democracy has a strong basis in the idea that people have a right to have input into the laws that are applied to them.

              I am by no means advocating that referendum should be binding as that would result in every hot button issue having poorly worded and thought out law applied. How ever when someone like Sue Bradford and all those who voted for the amendment can basically turn around and say “well my moral compass s more right than the majorities” than it undermines democracy.

              As to the riding crop incident, that is a poor reflection upon either a jury that feels that hitting a child with a crop is reasonable force or a judge who didn’t properly inform the jury as to how to apply that test. If any thing it goes to to point that everyone has different ideas as to what is acceptable and to have police judge on a case by case basis using “common sense” only leads to a wildly inconsistent application of the law.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Good stuff Geek. Thanks.

              Most MPs voted for the repeal, and most were re-elected. So there has been voter input. It’s true that a majority of people don’t like it, but it’s also true that they get chances to elect politicians who will act on that dislike. Apparently their dislike of the repeal was not enough to tip the ballance towards voting for those politicians.

              No individual has the right, or the ability for that matter, to force their morality on others, which is why I think it’s a bit of red hearing. The only way an individual can try to do so, is to stand for election and get the consent of the electors for their policy. Like you say, it’s democracy.

              I think therefore, that there is a difference between articulating a position in the hope of convinvcing others, and imposing it upon others.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I have no problem imposing my morals on others especially when they, like Blinglish, prove that they don’t actually have any.

    • Bright Red 2.2

      vto. your quote is from Editing the Herald. It’s clearly meant in jest.

      Wrong side of the bed?

    • lprent 2.3

      vto: So you don’t think that people should understand something about the issues and consequences BEFORE demanding actions? That they should mindlessly follow whatever demagogue says what they should think – even when the facts as stated are incorrect? Sounds pretty damn dangerous.

      In case you missed the point of my post – what I was talking about is fuckwits prejudging, without looking at all of the evidence, and wanting to avoid due process and going through strange ‘legal’ channels.

      If you think that is the correct way to go, then you are probably a candidate for being a member of lynch mob.

      My example was Winston where all of those things happened, and where I seem to remember that you were slavering for blood..

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Funny how when there’s a real protest, with people genuinely worked up about Iraq or job cuts or the environment, they’re labelled “rent a mob”.

    But when a mob really is rented, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s a “March for Democracy”.

    (PS Am available for rent on Saturday. Weekend rates apply, ten dollars per chant)

    • With their budget I would be seriously disappointed if they did not have more than 100,000. All they need to do is pay enough people $40 to walk up Queen Street. I am sure there would be plenty of takers.

  4. Adrian 4

    If you really want to have fun, make a realistic effigy of a child,and beat it as you walk in the march. You will probably get the shit kicked out you because even they can’t be so thick that they don’t know the piss is being taken,though you can never be too sure, but at least getting the organisers up on assault charges would be fun.

  5. Scribe 5


    With their budget I would be seriously disappointed if they did not have more than 100,000.

    Well, 350,000+ signed the petition and hundreds of thousands voted “No” on the referendum, so there is real feeling around this issue. Doubt there will be a massive crowd on Queen Street, but we shall see.

  6. Squirrel 6

    During last years electoral finance march I and a few others successfully lead the march with our own unrelated banner. This caused no end of hijinks with the marchers trying to run around us to get their own banner in front of ours. Because of this the march went down queen st at jogging speed rather than a calm walk. Also not one photo of the front of the march was used by the media because of our banner.

    We also had our own megaphone and I kept leading new – slightly different chants. At the end I also got up on stage and did a little bit of a speech for a minute or two before being tackled off stage.

    I’m away this weekend but it sounds like amazing fun.

  7. millsy 7

    Ah good old New Zealand. Where we march in the street for the right to hit our kids.

    It will reall enhance our mana in the eyes of the world…NOT

  8. Squirrel 8

    I just remembered we did something similar with the Brian Tamaki/Destiny march a couple of years back as well. We lead their march with our own pro homosexuality parade.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      wasn’t there that one for the anti-EFA march, with the people out in front dressed like Mr Burns and demanding more money in politics?

  9. andy 9

    Bring Back the Biff..

    For Kids..



  10. lprent 10

    I think something traditional would fit in perfectly well…

    “The End is Nigh!!!! John Key is the anti-christ!!!!”

    I think the extra exclamation marks are important for authenticity. But it fits perfectly into the range of placards that they are suggesting.

  11. andy 11

    Make NZ a better democracy, Thump your kid!!

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    “Kick ‘er in the guts Trev”

    “Smacks not wax”

    “Legalise Smack”

  13. BLiP 13

    Counter protesters could simply jump to the front of the march and carry signs reading:

    The Blind

    • andy 13.1

      Or Counter protesters could simply jump to the front of the march and carry signs reading:

      I’m With Stupid!

  14. Anne 14

    Protestors could wear eighteenth century clothing (eg. males in nightshirts and those ‘wee willie winkie’ type caps and females in long skirts and bonnets) and wack child effigies with broomsticks as they walked up Queen St.

  15. outofbed 15

    I see the “March for democracy “has signed up some big stars for the after match concert
    Yulia ‘A household name in New Zealand”
    Yulia says
    “By marching for democracy, I believe we honor the families who sacrificed their loved ones for our freedoms. Let us not take these freedoms for granted. Let us not forget the horrific price of totalitarianism. By marching for democracy we demonstrate that despite being from many cultures and backgrounds, we are one people under democracy.’

    Shit and there was me thinking it was just a set of fundies who want to thrash children

  16. Anne 16

    Yulia came to NZ in 2002 which means she was granted entry by the Labour government. Lucky for her. Unless she has a few squillion dollars to spare she wouldn’t have a show in hell now!

    Either Yulia is being taken for a ride, or she’s being well paid?

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