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