Brian Edwards Media

3850-Letter Tweet



Really exciting day yesterday. Got a job as an extra on the Russell Brown Show Media 7. It’s my favourite show and Russell is my hero. AND it was going to be all about smacking, and these people who want to smack their kids make me really, really cross. So I turn up at the studio and the nice receptionist asks me who I am and I tell her my name and that I’ve got a job as an extra on the Russell Brown Show and I’m playing a panellist. And she says, ‘Walk this way, Mr Edwards.’ And there’s drinks and crisps with onion dip (my favourite) and you get taken to make-up and everything. And Judy has told me to get the make-up lady to give me some eyelashes, which is sort of embarrassing, but I get the eyelashes anyway. And we go into the studio and are shown where to sit behind the desk. (Just like John Campbell or Paul Holmes) And I’m sitting in the middle, between Larry Baldock (who isn’t my hero) and a reporter whose name is Matt Nippert which I think is really funny. And Russell has to wear this thing in his ear so the producer can tell him the questions and he’s complaining that it’s uncomfortable and is spoiling the look of his jacket. And a lady tells the audience how to clap and somebody says, “We’re recording. Five seconds.” And my heart is pounding. And Russell introduces everybody and I’m going to be on the telly and I can hardly breathe. Then they show a really funny film and Russell starts to ask Mr Baldock really tough questions, which is why he is my hero. And it’s all so real and I’m so cross with Mr Baldock that I forget I’m an extra and start interrupting and asking Mr Baldock questions myself and saying quite rude things. And anyone who’s ever watched Ricky Gervais knows that extras are always trying to hog the limelight when they’re supposed to be seen and not heard and only speak when they’re spoken to. And Russell ignores my bad behaviour and goes on talking to Mr Baldock and the reporter with the funny name. And I keep quiet for a bit, but what Mr Baldock is saying is driving me nuts and I can’t help it and start interrupting again. And Russell is just brilliant and instead of getting cross makes a joke and says, “Maybe you should have your own show, Brian.” Which is a really funny idea. And then the show is over and Judy and I go home. And I’m upset because I’ve embarrassed myself and Judy says not to be silly. Anyway it was still really exciting and Russell is still my hero and I was going to tell you what Mr Baldock said, but the show is on the telly tonight and that would spoil the surprise. Well maybe I could tell you just one thing which Mr Baldock said which was the thing that got me crossest of all and made me forget my manners. Mr Baldock said that he smacks his grandchildren, with their parents’ permission of course. I’ve got ten grandchildren and I could never smack any of them. It’s hard to describe really. It’s just that I think the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren should be different than between parents and children. Grandchildren are there to be spoiled. Grandparents always say yes to everything (unless it’s going to hurt or something’s going to get broken of course). “Granddad, can I…? Nana, can we…? Of course you can, darling.” That’s the joy of being a grandparent that you can be so much more indulgent than you were as a parent. You’re there to lend a sympathetic ear, to be an unconditional friend, an ally. What’s that Helen Reddy song? “You and me against the world.” Being with your grandparents shouldn’t be just the same as being at home with Mum and Dad. It should be better. I can’t see how smacking could make it better. Anyway we’re off to Brisbane tomorrow for a few days. I like Brisbane. The sun is always shining and the buildings are really nice and we always stay at this really neat hotel just opposite the …….

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  1. Must watch your scene-stealing guest appearance!
    Baldock, the moron – did he ask his children and in-laws if he could smack his wee ones? “do you mind darling… I just gotta have a small whack at them…”?
    Enjoy yourselves folks!

  2. Whacking grandkids angers me too. When my auntie and uncle (I never had real grandparents – both parents orphaned early) moved back to Ireland from perfidious Albion to the house next door to ours the first thing my uncle said to me was: “When your mammy and daddy are mad at you run in here, the back door will be open. they’re not allowed to hit you in here.” Now THAT’S how grandparents are supposed to act.

  3. Breathless!

  4. No need to be embarrassed, Brian — it was funny. As was your rejoinder:

    “When are you planning on leaving?”

    Good show all round, actually. Thanks for coming.

  5. I thought you did very well.

    I had this vision of you reaching across to Baldock and using the “Homer Simpson method of parental correction” every time he lied about all of the parents who have been criminalised.

    • I thought you did very well.

      Well thanks. I assume you’re referring to Homer having his hands round Bart’s throat, while Bart’s tongue does a merry jig.

  6. I thought the debate, on the programme Media 7, was intelligent and reasonable. And I think you deserve credit for acknowledging that the media pic showing the two-fisted pump, wasn’t a fair depiction of Larry Baldock and/or views. (But, then again, it did grace your blog and was probably meant to intensify passions).

    Larry’s right: it’s not so much about the right to “hit kids” as it is about “smacking them”. And, no, this isn’t an exercise in Smart Semantics, because there is a difference.
    Also, please, take note – as I’ve read in a Herald letter – there is a “logarithmic” increase in juvenile violence that seems to correlate with the creeping New Age-way of raising our kids. The relationship bears all the hallmarks of an inverse proportionality between laying off corporal punishment and emboldened truculent behaviour, from the kids, today. Just check out what’s going on with our schools at the moment – student invasions with baseball bats etc.

    While I’m a staunch advocate of parents having the right to “dish out” tough love, I was certainly aghast to hear that Larry, as a grandparent, would “smack” his own grandchildren. To me, that runs counter to everything a grandparent represents — indefatigable patience and tolerance, benevolence and “safe harbour” for a kid who’s just had a dollop of good ol’ fashioned parenting.

  7. Good show. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Embarrassment would have been throwing water in his face or snapping the pen. You were very restrained.

  8. I enjoyed the debate. Baldock certainly got hammered, and Russell seemed out to get him. I am a 21 year old male and don’t have any children. I don’t approve of smacking but believe that a parent should be able to raise their child the
    way they wish. Baldock’s comment that he smacks his own grandchildren is sad. I think that Brian’s comments that the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren should be different than between parents and children is absolutely right. Grandparents should be friends and someone to talk to, not another version of your parents.

  9. All I can say is that Larry Baldock seems to see smacking as an end in itself rather than as a means of ‘good parental correction’.

  10. Brian this is charming, please write more stream of consciousness posts

    Ta muchly

  11. Brian, of course it is your place to comment on commenters on this site. But Common Sense’s last paragraph beggars belief. Why can’t parents also have “indefatigable patience and tolerance, benevolence and be a “safe harbour” for a kid.”

  12. So are we saying that in an ideal world, parents must not smack their kids and that grandparents are expected to be permissive and undermine the parents authority? Where are the boundaries and limitations? I’m sure there are a myriad of abusive grandparents out there that children don’t feel free to be entirely honest and safe with, including Baldock.
    The presumption about the ‘nanny state’ is that there are many parents (and grandparents) who are simply not equipped to engage in boundary limitations, indoctrinate respect for self and others, teach self control, and supervise the behaviour of their children. The ‘nanny state’ prescribes an ideal to the totally ignorant, not to the informed.
    The hair triggers of anger appear to be indoctrinated and increase with a lifetime of exposure, starting in childhood. It appears that violence is about control. Simon Barnett denied ever hitting his children from anger, however his daughter said he always apologises when he hits them from anger. So let’s say he is now ‘aware’, (and his argument has always been about defending himself in this debate “on behalf of all good parents”) – but many in the community are simply unaware of their own triggers and responses, they just react. My bubbly outgoing sister who worked as a Nursing Sister regularly thrashed her very young sons with a strop for minor infringements, her personality was Jekyll and Hyde at the drop of a hat. All of you would have thought she was simply wonderful, unless you saw her in action.
    It is also assumed that the behaviour of young males attacking each other in schools is the direct result of a lack of corporal punishment – presumably by the schools. Because that level of violence by boys is ‘normalised behaviour’, (probably learnt from the father or older brothers), exactly what level of physical abuse will change their learned responses to anger? When the exclusive Christian boy’s school caned boys bent with their heads under their desks, was the lesson learnt: “I’m being caned by you so that I will learn to be considerate and obey the rules?” More likely: “He who wields the weapon has the power”.
    So perhaps this is a rant for the benefits of a lifetime striving towards self-control. I never saw the interview, as we don’t have Freeview or Sky. I can understand Brian’s frustration with the man, and his embarrassment at feeling he was on the precipice of losing control of himself … it’s sounds a bit like the feeling one has when dealing with an recalcitrant teenager or a man with a mind like a rusty gin trap. For all that Russell Brown is Brian’s ‘hero’, I can’t help wondering why it sounds like the panel was manipulated to ensure the likelihood of heated exchanges to entertain the viewing public, and break the rules according to Sir Robin Day?
    The most appropriate course of action to take with Baldock is to totally ignore him, you simply cannot reason with a bigot who believes that striking out is more effective and justifiable than immediate restraint and respect for the word “NO”.

  13. Little Toot: “The most appropriate course of action to take with Baldock is to totally ignore him, you simply cannot reason with a bigot who believes etc”

    Being a teensy bit hard oh Larry, aren’t you? Just because he holds an opposing view to your own, doesn’t make him a “bigot” notwithstanding that awful celebration pic. One thing that’s emerged from this debate — is, that those who are vehemently opposed to smacking kids, are so much more intolerant – and hopelessly self-obssessed – compared to those (like, me) who are pro-smacking. A rich irony here.

  14. Common Sense: “One thing that’s emerged from this debate — is, that those who are vehemently opposed to smacking kids, are so much more intolerant – and hopelessly self-obssessed – compared to those (like, me) who are pro-smacking. A rich irony here.”

    Im not so sure about that, I don’t think Sue Bradford’s experience would back you up.

  15. Quite right Common Sense, my use of ‘bigot’ was bordering on inflammatory and I do apologise … perhaps ‘defensively entrenched’ would be more appropriate?

    My views? Personally I’ve never harboured any objection to the intervention of a well timed smack for a wicked child who persists in hurting / damaging others, but have found that ‘time out’ (social isolation) is a far stronger deterrent to bad behaviour (for both parents and children).

    However, I do have trouble determining where the boundary line should be set between a smack as a deterrent, and smacking from irritation or habit. As such, it is far easier for me to modify MY ‘responses’ to embrace the new law in the interests of a future generation of children raised by people who have not formerly been motivated towards any attempt to discriminate.

    Assuming we have established that you and I and Simon Barnett and all ‘right-thinking people’ ideally wouldn’t dream of hitting a child out of anger … and if you put extreme violence (murder) at one end of the bell curve and non-violence (‘anti-smacking’) at the other end, where is the socially acceptable boundary line? How do you define it? How do you ensure this line isn’t crossed by an individual ‘care-giver’ in contact with your children?

    Most of our lives appear to be spent learning to negotiate mutually beneficial transactions. Perhaps it is time to remove physical force from the equation for a while (say a hundred years) and see if adult human beings are indeed capable of learning to negotiate improved behaviour, both with children and each other, without engaging in acts of spontaneous violence?

  16. I thought you did remarkably well given the situation.

    There’s something terrible creepy about old men wanting to give their grand daughters a “loving” spank.

    How do you feel about your mate Latta getting the job of proving some sort of review for John Key?

    • How do you feel about your mate Latta getting the job of proving some sort of review for John Key?

      Been away and haven’t seen that, BLip. Will check it out.