The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Supporting repeal

Further to my two recent posts about the repeal of s59 of the Crimes Act, and removal of the defence of parental discipline, Just Left has the skinny on a website where you can show your support for Sue Bradford's Bill, cunningly entitled Repeal Section 59.

What's telling for me is the long long list of reputable organisation on the supporters page. I rather think that Plunket, Barnardos, the Children's Commissioner and the Families Commission* have a considerable collective clue about child abuse in our country and measures that can help eliminate it. These are organisations that are full of parents, full of people who have children of their own and deal everyday with the children of others. And yet they strongly advocate repeal of s59.

Even The Body Shop seems to be on board the locomotive steaming towards Repealville - how long until Family First** calls for a boycott of their stores?

The only form of action advocated by the site so far is writing to MPs, and it provides a wizard to do this with ease. I hope that in the future it may list events at which people can show their support for repeal, and thus powerfully express their desire to change our culture.

I fervently believe that twenty years after this legislation has passed we will look back and wonder why we ever thought it was ok to assault children in ways we would never countenance with an animal or adult. Just as we have looked back in shameful wonder at our society's bigotry before homosexual law reform and our school's legal violence before corporal punishment was revoked. The sky will not fall, but maybe, just maybe, there will be less abuse of children. And that has to be a Good Thing.

* Yep, the Families Commission was created by part-Christian party United Future.
** Don't let the name fool you, this is a pro-smack group. As I've already said in two past posts, yes I do think smacking is hitting.


Craig Ranapia said...

The only form of action advocated by the site so far is writing to MPs, and it provides a wizard to do this with ease

Oh dear... and who wants to bet they go in the same virtual recycle bin as the acres of 'astroturf' generated by the Maxim Institute around the CUB?

To put it bluntly, MP's executive secretaries and electorate agents aren't fuck-wits. If you're that serious about this - or any other issue - put in the time and effort required to write a thoughtful, civil communication that's been produced by a human being rather than a lobbyist's spam-bot.

After all, isn't the whole point of the exercise to influence a real live human being?

Span said...

Actually Craig R, the site allows you to change the email to suit yourself, which I did. I sent one email to Labour MPs and another to National MPs (if I get time I'll do some of the others) and both I customised. How is that different from me writing my own emails and then sending one to all the email addresses I can find for National and another to all the email addresses I can find for Labour? Except for the waste of my time of course.

I'd also note that this site does allow you to email individual MPs.

I don't actually like this method of lobbying either. But the fact is that both sides do it, and we know from the CUA debate that MPs and their secretaries DO count this kind of feedback.

Anonymous said...

I should point out that the organisations such as barnados, childrens commission, family commission etc do not represent the average voter as public opinion has shown. They are out of touch with reality in the majority of NZ homes. The social theories that they base their opinions upon are unproven and the view that smacking creates violence is also unproven. The anti smacking advocates haven't done themselves any favour by not differentiating between loving discipline of children and child abuse.

millsy said...

Hitting is not loving Anon.

So why dont you kindly jump in the lake.

You child beating monster.

Span said...

Millsy, kindly pull your head in - if you want to keep commenting here that level of abuse is not acceptable.

Span said...

Anon, I fail to see the loving in the physical discipline. That's not to say that people who smack, or indeed even beat, their kids don't love them. However hitting someone is not generally accepted as a way of expressing your love towards them. It is not acceptable to hit your partner, why should it be acceptable to hit your child?

And if you are concerned that I only think this because it haven't been in the parent role yet, you may want to have a look at Wanda's view:

I've also had another parent email me off blog with a similar sentiment to Wanda.

Heine said...

I wonder if Millsy was bounced on his head as a child.

Span said...

Clint, you are far from lily white in the nasty comment dept, so perhaps best not to draw attention to one self, hmmm?

Andy Moore said...

do you also fervently believe in social engineering?

Span said...

Ah, dear Andy. How brave of you to comment on a post well dead, sometime after the blog itself has been put to sleep. Particularly in light of the fact that I'm pretty sure that you tried to debate in this area on some other posts here and failed. Perhaps you should go read those again to jog your memory?

Andy Moore said...

You didn't answer the question.

Span said...

Andy, I've made it quite clear I've retired from blogging. Kindly respect that and go bug someone else. Particularly as you and I already debated the question you have posed, on another thread here, back when it was actually relevant.

Andy Moore said...

I was googling some terms and came across your post. Don't get so worked up about it... I didn't know you'd retired.

Have a nice day.

Span said...

I'm so sorry I mistook your trolling for trolling. My sincerest apologies /sarcasm

Whatever Andy, I explained it in my first comment replying to you, but you persisted.

Have a nice life.

Andy Moore said...


Span said...

Yes Andy, clearly the problem here is not that you are a troll who can't read but that I am a woman.

*rolls eyes*

Now kindly piss off.