Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Labour Uses Whips in Smacking Debate

So the Labourites are using the parlimentary version of corporal punishment by bringing out the party Whips to enforce the toeing of the party line on smacking. A few weeks ago we had Sue Bradford unjustifiably linking smacking to child abuse. Now we have Helen Clarke slandering opponents to the bill:



  • First, she's suggesting that opponents to the bill are child abusers:

"Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday said some bill opponents were "demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children" (NZ Herald, 28 March 2007)


That's not what the debate is about - I find it hard to understand where that statement and truth meet...



  • Second she's falling back into her old habits in blaming it on the fundies:

"Helen Clark retaliated by attacking "extreme-right-wing fundamentalist groups" that she said were some of the bill's most vocal critics.


"New Zealand has it on its conscience that our rate of child death and injury from violence, including in the home, is appalling," she said.


"It is a stain on our international reputation, and I cannot see how those who are demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children can possibly then turn around and confess concern about what is happening to our children."


Child death and injury from violence are not what opponents to the bill are seeking. To suggest otherwise is political posturing of the worst sort.


She confirms her consistent anti-Christian bias by labeling Christian opponents as fundamentalists. Its always a good idea to demonise the opposition (especially when they catch you out with previous inconsistent quotes).


Still the so-called fundamentalists are in good company in opposing the bill - 83% of New Zealanders if you believe the latest Colmar Brunton poll.


It's hysteria of the worst sort - lets hope Michael Cullen is right when he says:


"...hysteria would pass once people understood the bill properly"


Let's hope Helen was listening...

Helen Clarke exploring other forms of parental discipline

19 comments:

BJ said...

Alternative captions welcome!

Anonymous said...

"Well if the Whips don't work..."

Rhett said...

Hey... didn't the Nazis get elected by majority!?

:-P

Anonymous said...

"Gollum and Gimli join forces."

"Buy now! $19.99!
It slices... It dices... It can cut through a can... It can chop down a tree... Bu today - the Clarky Cut."

"Helen reminds all parents... Spare the sword spoil the child."

servant said...

Rhett,

"Hey... didn't the Nazis get elected by majority!?"

The Nazi rise to power wasn't as simple as that. They gained a majority in conjunction with another party that they then discredited by burning down the Reichstag building.... to read the rather murky details of the Nazi rise to power read through this link at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party

If the opposition had been able to unite themselves, the Nazis would not have been able to gain power.

Rhett said...

So what you are really saying is that if Germany had used first past the post, there would have been no world war 2?

Could MMP in NZ lead to a fascist regime in this country!!!?

Could Helen Clark be the antichrist?

servant said...

"Could MMP in NZ lead to a fascist regime in this country!!!?"

When over 80% of the country is against a bill and the house of representatives are no longer representing that... then yes, it could. But I don't think the problem is MMP, I think the problem is parties actively subverting the processes of parliament.

Rhett said...

I think you know I am not being serious... and I kinda agree with you.

Except... truth is not always found with the majority. Perhaps in this case it is, but not always. There are certain things which could require action which is against the public opinion (getting Americans to acutally THINK about the pollution they are putting out comes to mind). So I'm not sure if it's possible to make blanket statements that subverting the public opinion is always wrong... it's just that perhaps the government has picked the wrong issue to do that with.

servant said...

"So I'm not sure if it's possible to make blanket statements that subverting the public opinion is always wrong"

It is when one wishes to live in a democracy. If we wish to live in a democracy, then we must take the good and the bad. If we state that majority public opinion should be disregarded (in any instance) then we are supporting something other than democracy and we should not support democracy. If we support democracy and wish that to be our system of government then we must accept public opinion and where we don't agree, we should work to change it rather than simply legislate against it.

servant said...

and yes, I know you're not serious... but the jokes you're making are raising good points :o)

servant said...

It's a philosophy of bottom up vs top down. Should the power be in the hands of the people or an autocratic few.... democracy (which I support) was developed to place the governing of society in the hands of the people... rather than a powerful few. Any movement of change should start with the people.... even if it means that the people at the top must get amongst the people to push their views and shift the public opinion.

servant said...

Our MP's are simply supposed to be elected individuals that represent the people... they are supposed to be from among the people. This doesn't seem to be the case.

servant said...

... and this bill is the clearest example we have had in a very long time that the system is failing at present.

servant said...

6th comment in a row.... blah blah blah

BJ said...

The real constitutional issue for me is this:

Why pass a law that appears on its face to criminalise parents who smack appropriately and then say they won't be prosecuted?

Isn't this the very complaint that the legislation is designed to circumvent? The "reasonable force" exception is designed to be policed by the Courts.

Now it seems the reasonableness of a parent's actions will determined by the police...

This bill fails to deal with the problem identified publicly by the legislators.

Of course the point is that this is not "harm-based" no matter what they say: its ideology based on a human rights extreme.

Anonymous said...

The real issue is:

If you can't hit your kids...who can you hit?

So let it be written - so let it be done.

-deurty :)

Anonymous said...

Helen: Is that a sword under your tunic or are you just happy to see me?

Tom: Its a sword...

BJ said...

Deurty - life is just so much simpler in the US of A...

Anonymous (if that's your real name), you are too funny...

Simon said...

Helen: Oh sorry Tom, I thought you were John Key...

Tom: That's okay. Do you really know what you're talking about? Or are you just going on what you've heard?? Hm?

(Ref: Cruise's TV interview about depression where he hung, drew and quartered the interviewer for challenging his views on psychiatric drugs. Taken completely out of context.)