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Hiding to nothing

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: child discipline, referendum - Tags: , ,

Did anyone else detect a whiff of desperation in Family Fist’s PR offensive today championing the case of a man who lost control and repeatedly shoved his son to the ground because he refused to play in a rugby game?

I mean, is this really the best they’ve got? A grown man who’s lost his temper, assaulted his kid, pleaded guilty and is now undergoing anger management classes? It would appear so. As The Yes Vote points out:

“The no vote campaign would have used the so-called ‘ear-flick’ Dad as their example of supposed injustice against parents until he was convicted of punching his child in the face. Now they are pointing to an angry father, who pleaded guilty to assault, as a ‘great Dad’,’ said Yes Vote spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers.

“We all get tired and frustrated as parents, but actions such as those described are anything but ‘good parental correction’. They are a loss of adult self-control, pure and simple. The majority of New Zealanders would be appalled to see a child treated in that way.

Indeed they would. The irony here is that the so-called anti-smacking lobby claims it’s all about ‘protecting good parents and tacking the real causes of child abuse’. I don’t doubt they’re genuine. It’s just unfortunate that they spend so much of their time defending child abuse for political ends.

25 comments on “Hiding to nothing ”

  1. forgetaboutthelastone 1

    They’re trying to whip up the same frenzy they did last year. Unfortunately for them:

    – No parent has been criminalised for smacking since the bill was introduced.

    – The National Party supports the bill as it stands so they can’t make so much political capital out of the ‘nanny state telling people how to live their lives’ thing.

    What do they have left?

  2. Kaplan 2

    One really has to wonder why the child bashers keep pursuing this. There is a good chance they are going to lose support over this.
    I suppose they are committed now…. or at least should be.

    • Mental Mickey 2.1

      They want to be re-assured that they aren’t bad people. That’s all this referendum is about. It has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with some very defensive parents.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Well put MM.

        I can’t mention this topic at work without getting some pretty defensive and angry reactions… you’ve put in a nutshell.

  3. So Bored 3

    I wondered where the cash for the pro smacking campaign came from till I realised that I was perpetually short of cash from handouts to my supposedly left home children. If I had smacked them over a bit (when they were smaller) they might just have left earlier and not bothered to come anywhere near me (and my cash). So thats why these guys have cash……..

  4. Disengaged 4

    I am really confused by family First’s (and other similar group’s approach) to this whole debate.

    To begin with I was leaning more towards voting “No” on the referendum, because I think that in some situations a light smack is a suitable form of correction. However, the people that seem to be promoting the “No” vote are using examples that go well beyond a light smack and have yet to provide any evidence that what I would consider to be “good” parents are at risk of being “criminalised”.

    Now, to my mind repeatedly shoving your child is excessive force. The fact that this father has been held to account (and to his credit pled guilty) and is likely to get some anger management training is a great result. But by railing against the police getting involved in this case the “No” vote campaigners seem to be saying that shoving, flicking or whacking is ok.

    So now Family First (and their ilk) have effectively given me the choice to vote “Yes” with the knowledge that it may technically make a light smack illegal or vote “No” and risk having shoving,flicking and whacking legitimised.

    Well done “No” vote campaigners, you have converted this No to a Yes.

    • Kaplan 4.1

      You make a great point. The more I read things like this the more it appears that the child bashers are busy scoring own goals all over the place.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      That’s just it though – under current legislation a light smack will not get any parent or guardian criminalised. Abuse such as that article points out will as it should do. Family First really are defending abusing children.

  5. millsy 5

    Baldock, McCroskie, et al need to just come out and say that they find this sort of treatment acceptable and stop screaming about light smacking.

    Typical Christian barbarians, I bet these people get off on hitting kids, I wonder if they have orgasams when they do it?

    IrishBill: Keep it clean or you’ll be banned.

    • Pat 5.1

      One has to admire millsy’s ability to talk shit like that and yet still evade a banning.

      Whereas a rightie can get banned merely on suspicion of troll-like behaviour.

      Sigh

      • Maynard J 5.1.1

        Yeah Pat agreed, I think millsy should be well gone. Not like they are useful contributions.

        [lprent: Looks like a newbie. We tend to cut some slack with warnings while they get up to speed. Eventually if it is too much effort then we chop to reduce our workload. ]

      • Eddie 5.1.2

        Differene with Millsy is he hasn’t attacked the site or its authors directly. That’s generally what the right-wing trolls get banned for. Millsy’s been warned though, and he’s on his last chance. One more mis-step and he’s banned.

        Rest assured, he’s not getting any special treatment. It’s not like I like having idiot lefties on here ruining it for the rest of us.

  6. millsy 6

    Jeez, guys, people on the other side a way worse then me – I mean, you have guys like Laws calling for eugenics and stuff, and Redbaiter looking for reds under the beds…We need to start fighting fire with fire.

    [lprent: Why bother bringing up other sites – we do not control them.

    We have specific behaviors that we look for preventing the spread of on this site – see the policy. These are designed to facilitate a robust but topic/policy driven dialogue without trolls or other annoying behaviors. The decisions are those of the moderators and tend towards the draconian (on the general basis that people should control their own behavior).

    Say what you will about redbaiter and his attitudes (and many do), what he does do is mostly abide by the rules on this site. Just at present you haven’t been. ]

    • Eddie 6.1

      Problem is you’re just making a dick of yourself with your behaviour. Keep it clean, keep it on the issues, and when the likes Redbaiter says absurd, offensive things just take the piss out of them. It’s your level of abuse that’s not welcome here.

  7. roger nome 7

    Well millsy – you may not be too far from the truth there:

    Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 8, No. 2, 145-158 (1981)

    “Data from penitentiary files revealed that 29 of 41 incarcerated pedophiles used threats of violence or actual physical force to secure their sexual goals, and these sexual goals frequently involved penile penetration. Those inmates who did use force were also generally criminal in tendency and assaultive by disposition”

    http://cjb.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/8/2/145

  8. the sprout 8

    i guess when all of the genuine organizations support the bill (barnardos, plunket, unicef, all the child medical associations), and the only groups you’ve got for support are fringe pseudo-christian groups, all you’ve got left are straws.

  9. killinginthenameof 9

    the phrases “good parenting” and “real causes”, set alarm bells ringing in my head!

    Could Family Fist please suggest to us what the real causes are, and any methods they would employ for working out who the bad parents are?

  10. Chris G 10

    I LOVE it how they are using this fuckwit dad who forced his son to play rugby by embarassing him in public

    Dont get me wrong I’m a rugby head. but if your kid doesnt wanna play, he doesnt wanna. Do the ‘no’ campaign think its fine for him to shove his kid/force him to play rugby? faaarrrkkk., They are really clutching at straws using this as an example of ‘good parental correction’ I didn’t know ‘good’ is public humiliation.

    Wonder what’ll happen to that kid if he tells his dad hes gay? Shoved all the way to the nearest whorehouse? Hah!

  11. roger nome 11

    IrishBill:

    I believe that there’s evidence for a connection between pedophilia and violence toward children – just as there is a connection between rape and violence toward women – all are acts of force intended to gain power/control over the subject/victim.

    Surely the analogy doesn’t escape you?

    • killinginthenameof 11.1

      How dare you critisize good loving parents mr Nome

      • roger nome 11.1.1

        Perhaps it’s their so-called good loving that’s the problem? 🙂

        Sorry – that was poor taste, my bad …

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          I’m inclined to agree. Physical violence against children and sexual predation against them both have some common threads, the exploitation of power imbalance, the abuse of trust, perceiving the child as property or an object, the disabling of empathy.

          This of course does not mean that any or all parents who have given their kid the now proverbial ‘loving smack’ to their dreadful little ankle bitter’s butt in a moment of distraction and stress is automatically a pedophile, but at the same time there are some clear underlying elements in common.

          Men who beat/abuse their partners (yes women do it too) would never for an instance dream of going to work and say whacking the boss or a workmate. This is a crucial insight. These men exert choice and control over their behavior depending on the power context.

          Power and responsibility are twinned together. Parenting is a deep and profound responsibility, and with it is an innate power exercised over the child. For all of us the challenge is HOW we exercise that power, as parents, as teachers, as employers, as politicians… in whatever form.

          I think we can all identify many, many moments in our lives when we have seen power both used and abused. What drives the difference? It is to my mind a question of motive, whether the power is being exercised for the benefit of the person exercising it, or for those he/she has responsibility for. And for most of us, parenthood is our first confrontation with that challenge. For no other reason we shouldn’t be too tough on most young adults tossed willy-nilly into this emotional, spiritual minefield.

          Yet ulitmately it is about power and how we choose to use it. The relevance of this on a political blog of course resonates at all strata of society. Helen Clark for instance ran a very tight ship, and trod on more than a few toes… but there was never any question that she was exercising political power (as best she saw it) for the benefit of the most vulnerable, least empowered in our society. By contrast John Key’s political management appears of lot looser, more freestyle, but the open question in many minds is, ‘whose interests in this man serving?’.

          This question very deep thread in our psyche, at it’s heart lies the story of the battle between good and evil, played out in our lives moment to moment, in all our roles as parents, to world leaders. This is why this debate has been so intense, so involving and so profoundly revealing of all.

  12. Ari 12

    Chris G- well, that would be purely a matter of parental correction, surely ;P

  13. Truth 13

    Why do you post under the pseudonym [deleted] rather than you real name [deleted]?

    [lprent: Read the about and the policy. We neither confirm nor deny, but we do ban. You’re banned for being a fuckwit who hasn’t bothered to check house rules. Those state that I prefer people use psuedonyms, and I strongly discourage dweebs who want to out people. ]

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