Brian Edwards Media

Sickos Hold Party

images1I read in this morning’s Sunday Star Times that the leading lights in the pro-smacking lobby have booked an Auckland hotel for a celebration on Friday night of their undoubted victory in the referendum. The headline reads: ‘NO’ HOPERS BOOK HOTEL FOR SMACKING VICTORY

A party to celebrate the possible return of legislation allowing parents to use ‘reasonable force’ to discipline their children! A celebration of the fact that 4 out of 5 New Zealanders want to regain the right to hit their kids!  Are these ‘no’ voters going to bring their own children along to the celebrations? And, if they are, just what will the children be celebrating?

I’ve had some harsh words to say about these people in the past. But none harsh enough. What sickos you are.

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48 Comments:

  1. It is probable that the NO vote will have a large majority. 75%+ anybody? I think that a Bill is being prepared which says that “smacking may be used for correction.” The three people who were asked their opinion for our local paper seemed to be voting No for a totally different reason from my understanding of the issue, but hey its a democracy. What is a bit worrying is the PM penchant of going with the mood- populist?

    • It is probable that the NO vote will have a large majority. 75%+ anybody?

      I quite agree. I’m predicting that Key will be swayed by the result of the referendum and give way.

  2. I’ve had some harsh words to say about these people in the past. But none harsh enough.

    Yes. Pity. It seemed to me there was a certain inevitable obscenity when I read the referendum ‘question’ as framed…
    It’s a messy business, democracy. Open to abuse, manipulation and gerrymandering.

    That said, did anyone really feel the legislation “protected” our kids? Really?

    • I’ve had some harsh words to say about these people in the past. But none harsh enough.

      Yes, I think the legislation will protect our kids. It says in effect: It is against the law to hit children – this is our position in New Zealand. If these sickos have their way, our position will be: It is OK to hit children – that is our position in New Zealand. That’s not the sort of society I want to live in.

  3. Yes Brian. I quite agree with your sentiment re our ‘position’.
    I voted to keep the law (YES) — better than the alternative, as you say. Just feel glum about the reality of the deterrent effect (if any).

    • Yes Brian. I quite agree with your sentiment re our ‘position’.

      I’m reasonably sure there has already been a deterrent effect. In any event it’s important that this should be our position as a country – it is against the law to hit children.

  4. That makes me so sad and angry at the same time.

  5. It puzzles me as to how some people are quick to conflate a bit of sharp physical discipline on an errant child, with violence and abuse being
    perpetrated. They’re as different as night and day.

    Also, note the correlation between the lack of firm discipline and the growing – juvenile – disrespect for figures of authority. Widespread
    graffiti is a telling testament to that.

    Nothing wrong, at all, with dispensing a bit of physical pain on to a child by way of a sharp slap/strap across an open hand or leg. It’s
    called “responsible parenting”; it inculcates a sense of respect, awareness and responsibility.

    After the referendum, you can be sure that John Key will defer to the vox populi, and the anti-smacking legislation will be repealed.

    The “hotel party” is redundant and an unnecessary gloatfest, which vitiates the underlying principles. Pity.

    • It puzzles me as to how some people are quick to conflate a bit of sharp physical discipline on an errant child, with violence and abuse being
      perpetrated. They’re as different as night and day.

      “a bit of sharp physical discipline on an errant child”; “Nothing wrong at all with dispensing a bit of physical pain on a child…”

      I’m hoping this is irony. If it isn’t I’d be sorry for you and even sorrier for any children you might have.

  6. The deterrant effect: As they say “Good things take time.” In Sweden they claim the significant downward trend of Youth crime has taken 25 years. It has taken years and years to shift the disapproval of Drink-driving and has not yet wiped it out but….
    and Common Sense you would be unwise to equate Anti-smacking with rise in Youth disobedience/crime. No other factors? Movies? TV? Gang culture? Parents too busy?

  7. The whole situation is surreal, not often stuck for words but how on earth can a group of people purporting to be good family people protest for the right to belt their children.
    I brought up two boys by myself and never felt the need to belt them, and they are certainly not choirboys.

    • The whole situation is surreal, not often stuck for words but how on earth can a group of people purporting to be good family people protest for the right to belt their children.

      How indeed?

  8. Having read some of the comments on other blogs posted by the pro smackers I get a feeling that they feel that they have a “God given right” to beat their children. I have an uneasy feeling that a bit of manipulation is going on here.

  9. It’s every parents’ right to bring up their children as they think fit. And if that includes the occasional hiding, then so be it. Growing up and attending Cornwall Park Primary School, Remuera Intermediate and Auckland Grammar – all those teachers had the right to wield the strap or cane. Hell, I don’t think I escaped one year without getting a dose of it. To me, it’s an inalienable right of any parent to dish out a bit of “tough love” in a measured and controlled manner.
    My teachers weren’t demonised as beasts then, so why should parents who elect to go down the same path, be criminalised? Oh, yeah, can we do away with those highly emotive and hysterical terms such as “beatings”, “sickos” etc. We’re just starting to emerge from our nuclear winter under those bleak Helen Clark years, and those epithets are no longer appropriate in the context of this debate. Did you not know that we are entering an age of Enlightenment, with our wonderful, new PM?

    • It’s every parents’ right to bring up their children as they think fit. And if that includes the occasional hiding, then so be it.

      I just don’t know whether to take you seriously, Raisin Dotre. But if you are serious, I suspect you belong to the “It never did me any harm” brigade. Boy, have I got news for you.

  10. Common sense said:
    “Also, note the correlation between the lack of firm discipline and the growing – juvenile – disrespect for figures of authority.”
    and
    “it inculcates a sense of respect”

    A bit hung up on ‘respect’ are we? The only parents I know who care about respect or even use that stupid word, are insecure, second-rate, narrow-minded, authoritarian bores.

    A bit of disrespect for authority is essential in a democracy anyway. Now in my 50’s I grow more disrepectful of it every day

    • Common sense said:
      “Also, note the correlation between the lack of firm discipline and the growing – juvenile – disrespect for figures of authority.”
      and
      “it inculcates a sense of respect”

      Delighted to hear that you grow more disrespectful every year. And you’re only in your fifties! Imagine what you’ll be like at 70. Welcome to the Curmudgeon Club.

  11. Was that: ‘No Hopers’ book hotel for smacking victory ?
    Sounds like an S&M convention, if so I hope the TV crews are there to capture the rapture …

    On a serious note, one loses faith in the general intellect of the populace when they appear to blindly follow personal preferences advocating that small beings have no rights against abuse. What ever can their reasoning be? A sense of ownership? Personal power? Defensiveness? Transference? Some as yet undefined psychowhatsits?
    In considering (broadening the frame) the way people vote, I was shocked when George W. was voted in for a second term, I was shattered when Australians voted John Howard for a second term … is there something wrong with voters/non-voters that they could allow such wicked things to happen?
    Who ARE these people? Could 75% of the voting population really be sociopaths?
    Ize afeared Masta!
    Your obedient servant,
    Little Toot.

    P.S. Around these raw rural parts the word is that they all want to be free to whack their kids with lengths of alkathene like they always have, only now they’re afraid to … bloody law.

    • Was that: ‘No Hopers’ book hotel for smacking victory ?

      The silliest thing I hear people say on the radio is “people aren’t stupid”. Sadly a helluva lot of people are bloody stupid

      As to George Bush, Obama summarised the American psyche very well when he said “guns and God”.

  12. Nice one Raisin, you had me there.

  13. Cute, Little Toot, with your Kyle Onstott-speak.

    Hey, I remember youse from 1ZB, 7.30AM, Sunday mornings (followed by Big Band Parade).

  14. Common Sense – As someone who was hit as a child at home (for purposes of correction) and regularly thrashed at school (for purposes of alleviating the teacher’s bad mood or whatever) can I just say that physical punishment never ever engendered any respect towards my assailants in me. Quite the opposite. It was only when my da stopped hitting me for breaking the rules and actually apologised for doing so in the past that I truly began to respect him.

    As an aside, where does the pro-smacking side stand on dealing out “a sharp slap/strap across an open hand or leg” to someone else’s child when in loco parentis?

    • As an aside, where does the pro-smacking side stand on dealing out “a sharp slap/strap across an open hand or leg” to someone else’s child when in loco parentis?

      Good question. And I was amused by a comment in the Herad’s letters page suggesting a referendum question: “Should a slap as part of good spousal correction be a criminal offence?”

  15. I do not advocate ‘belting’ children. However neither do I believe that a parent who in a moment of frustration give his child a slap on the back of the legs deserves to be prosecuted (or be threatened with prosecution or investigated by CYFS) nor branded a ‘sicko’. I believe that there are far worse abuses inflicted on children that are perfectly within the law; examples such as emotional coldness/neglect, showing one’s love by buying children everything they want, trying to live ones life and disappointments through one’s children, thinking that possessions are a substitute for time spent with one’s children, verbal conflict in a partnership or marriage. All these do far worse long term damage than a sharp slap, but there is no law against any of them.

    I have no idea whether you had children. If you got through their childhood without giving them a slap you would be the first Irishman in history to have learned the art of self control. Finally, yes, I have slapped my children and if that makes me a ‘sicko’, tough, but I believe the label is as offensive to most parents as labelling all Irishmen psychopaths because of the behaviour of extremists.

    • I do not advocate ‘belting’ children.

      If you read the piece, I didn’t call a parent who “in a moment of frustration “gives his child a slap on the back of the legs” a sicko. What I find ‘sick’ is that this group of people should hold a victory party in a hotel to celebrate their victory. As is asked in the post, what is there to celebrate? That it will again be legal in New Zealand to use reasonable force against children? Or what would these people’s children have to celebrate? “Hey Mum, it’s Ok for you to hit me again. Thanks for all your good work.”

      As it happens, I can understand the slap in anger more than the premeditated action in cold blood. “Wait till your dad gets home!”

      I suspect you and I aren’t poles apart. But I am poles apart from the leadership of this movement.

  16. It’s every parents’ right to bring up their children as they think fit.

    Apart from being absurd and morally repugnant, that’s a sentiment contradicted by any number of laws on the statute book.

    Even the old child discipline law placed a curb on parents’ behaviour towards their children — the problem was that it allowed some parents to get away with very real brutality, and perpetuated the idea that you solve problems by hitting people.

    I’m also prevented by law from starving my child, forcing him to live in cruel conditions, making him work for food, denying him the chance to attend school, denying medical treatment on the basis of my religious beliefs and so on.

    Might you perhaps have been whacked once too often in the head?

  17. Hi, Russell

    Re your: “Apart from being absurd and morally repugnant, that’s a sentiment contradicted by any number of laws on the statute book.”

    Did you not note the operative phrase, here: “bring up”? Which, for your benefit, connotes physical and emotional nurturing, providing a safe and happy environment, ensuring sound education to optimise life’s opportunities for my kids, setting guidelines and boundaries etc. — and, yes, occasional physical discipline when required.

    Your rationale is predicated on the fact that parents, left to their own devices, are incapable of rearing their kids by their own instincts, alone. Hence, we need “laws on the stature book” to set the constraints within a formalised legislative structure, to function as parents. In other words, parenting becomes prescriptive, sanitised and mind-numbingly uniform. Almost by State decree. You know, I have trouble with that. Oh, and as for closing remark, you’d be best to keep your ad hominem jibes for your Dear Departed Leader.

    Amazing, that this forum is nothing more than a repository for backward Labourites and their Stalinist-type idealism.

  18. Russell I think you are right,perhaps more than once.

    I think parents who resort to “physical discipline” are not trying hard enough.

    I never thought my parenting was “prescriptive, sanitized and mind-numbingly uniform.” But my kids did turn out to be kind, thoughtful and respectful individuals.

    The last comment of Raisin Dotre makes me wonder why right wingers are so keen to have the legal right to physically punish their kids? They obviously enjoy reading this site.

  19. You’re confusing me with AB, it was he/she who remarked:

    “A bit of disrespect for authority is essential in a democracy anyway. Now in my 50’s I grow more disrepectful of it every day”, not me.
    So, please, he’s your future inductee to the “Curmudgeon Club”.

  20. Yes, we are probably fairly close, since like you I regard the leader of the”pro-smacking” with a certain amount of distaste.

    I also wonder why those on the left or right have to resort to puerile insults; “…backward Labourites…” For goodness sake, are these people unable to think other than in slogans?

  21. @ Ben: “the first Irishman in history to have learned the art of self control.”

    What an irrelevant and downright moronic thing to say. Why do you think the Irish have no self-control? Know all of us do you?

  22. Don: “joke”! OK?

  23. Very funny, Ben. All Irish are violent wife/child beaters. Please, my sides are splitting already. Victorian music hall-style depictions of feckless peasants beating each other up does not equal humour.

  24. Don: Youse gotta learns to chill, Dude. Ben’s light-hearted irreverence was just plain ol’ TIC; besides, he’s already atoned for himself by way of: “Joke!”.

    You wanna see claret dripping off his wrists?

  25. Merv: You’ve got to learn to speak and write in English.

  26. Yes the people throwing the party are idiots……as are those who suggest that anyone with the temerity to vote no is a child beater or a supporter thereof.

    • Yes the people throwing the party are idiots……as are those who suggest that anyone with the temerity to vote no is a child beater or a supporter thereof.

      I agree. I have difficulty understanding why anyone would want to return to a law that allowed parents to use “reasonable force” on their children, but I have never said they were child beaters or supporters of child beaters.

  27. I’ve had some harsh words to say about these people in the past. But none harsh enough. What sickos you are.

    Oh noz! He called them “sickoz”!!! Honestly mate that prissy spit exemplifies exactly what is wrong with the liberal left – it’s like you think you’ve come over all street by calling these whack-jobs “sickos” on a blog like it’s some kind of pulling-out-the-big-king-hit.

    Here’s a serious tip. These people are beneath contempt. Get a half a dozen people together on an email list and set up a google media alert (or fork out for pro monitoring – you’re a so-called player so I figure you can just add them to a current key-word list) so when McCroskie or that repressed retard McVicker or that subhuman gimp Garrett appear in the media you can direct a half a dozen emails to the outlet mocking them for pandering to these useless freaks. Give it six months and your “sickos” will be media non-grata.

    And don’t send “I was shocked to hear” emails, send “what a f*ckn loser joke your paper/station/whatever is for running up these fringe nutters” emails.

    Because “I was shocked” responses are good ratings signals (that’s why Paul Henry will never be out of a job) but telling media folks they’re chumps shuts them up quick-smart.

    I’m probably wasting my time here but, Brian, you might want to check out John Dolan’s Fighting Words for a few tips on how to deal to the right in the new media environment:

    http://www.alternet.org/media/80507

    “sickos”… Ha! Classic middle brow, middle aged, middle class impotent rage…

    No wonder Labour don’t have a single provincial seat. HTFU.

    • Gosh Yo’mamma, I’m sorry my vernacular offended your delicate linguistic sensibilities. In future I’ll take a leaf out of your book and call people “whack-jobs” or “repressed retards” or “subhuman gimps” or “useless freaks” or “fringe nutters”. Or maybe I should change my blog name to something really cool like Yo’mamma.

  28. “No wonder Labour don’t have a single provincial seat.”

    What? Palmerston North no longer provincial? Palmy now a metropolis? How did THAT happen?

  29. Oh yeah, Palmerston North. Nice. You’re really touching base there Don.

    And BE? Don’t be sorry about my linguistic sensibility. Be sorry about yours.

    Like Dolan says, words are weapons and the small-minded freaks (including the child beaters you so unsuccessfully revile) that ran a campaign to smear and belittle Clark and her (and our) progressive values with a snowballing lexicon of bully-talk succeeded.

    I don’t know whether it’s because presenting hyperbolic caricature as reality is what it takes to get cut-through in the current media environment or because the lexicon of the school-yard has gained ascendancy through the neo-liberal project’s great success in generally stupefying critical thought. But it worked – one of our most intelligent, able, committed and competent PM’s was framed as an arrogant corrupt bully. People were seriously getting away with comparing her to Mugabe!

    And it’s still happening. Take a look at David Farrar’s blog sometime and you’ll see that the project isn’t just to roll Helen but to textually (and, in the Baudrillardian hyper-real environment we live in, the textual* is the factual) obliterate her popularity and her achievements.

    And you meet this powerful attack on liberal values with weak schoolmarmish slights? Good grief.

    Look, it’s not that your “vernacular” offends me. It’s that it fails to muster the power to do so that is most disappointing. Well, that and the fact you seem to think that somehow proper argot-driven invective is self-evidently “bad” (and the fact you predicate the statement with the word “gosh”. “Gosh”??? Have you been reading too much Enid Blyton???). You’ve clearly missed the point.

    Did you even read the link I put up?

    *I should be clear that I use the term textual in the Derriden sense.

    JC:

    I have edited this comment. You are welcome to comment on our website, and I hope you continue to do so. But intelligent debate can be conducted without resorting to swearing, albeit with twee acronyms. I would hope it can also be conducted without gratuitous personal insults. They don’t advance arguments.

  30. Y’momma: You’ve got to stop hyperventilating and spluttering; you’ve got to learn to gather your thoughts, so they coalesce in a way you can articulate them, coherently. You also need to take a bit more care with your sentence construction and punctuation, because there’s a fair bit of ambiguity and confusion. You’re going off on so many different tangents that you’d confuse a Euclidian mathematician. I’m really sorry, but your postings are quickly devolving into rant, bleeding out into the realm of the truly bizarre.

    I’m guessing, that what you’re trying to express – in part – is, that our former overbearing PM makes Rob Muldoon seem self-effacing and timid, in comparison to her leadership style. Am I right?

  31. Meaningless gobbledegook.

    Don knows what I’m talking about. Call it a caucus in-joke.

  32. Good discipline comes from respect, not fear.